Desserts

Skinny Caramel Apple Pie

Apple pie is a classic American dessert, but most versions are very high in saturated fat and sugar (from the shortening, butter and sugar).  Here is “dietitian approved” recipe that tastes indulgent, but is much better for the heart!  Lower in calories, fat, sodium and sugar, but higher in fiber and protein.  It has a sweet and fresh apple filling with a brown sugar crumble and sticky caramel on top all inside a {healthy} crust.  Of course, there’s a few secrets in the recipe that make it healthier without being noticeable in taste/texture…

First of all: the crust.  I used to make pie crust with shortening and it turned out perfect all the time.  The only problem is that shortening contains a higher percentage of saturated fat (the heart un-healthy fat) and some versions have the dreaded trans fats.  So I made a recipe that only uses canola oil as the fat.  This increases the heart healthy fats and decreases the heart un-healthy fats in the recipe.

Second: the filling.  I replaced a lot of the sugar with applesauce and Splenda to keep it sweet and moist, yet much lower in total sugar.  See Be Sugar Smart for more information on Splenda and other sugar substitutes.  Adding a little extra cinnamon/nutmeg also increases the flavor and decreases the need for excess sugar.

Skinny Apple Pie

Thirdly: the crumble topping.  Here is where I just could not sacrifice the brown sugar.  But using a plant-oil based tub butter instead of regular butter (most recipes call for an entire stick), and whole wheat flour/oats instead of white flour makes the topping much healthier.  Trust me though, it is still crumbly and sweet.

Finally: the caramel.  Okay, so I’m kind of lying; it’s not really caramel.  Its pureed dates and water.  Maybe doesn’t sound good, but just try it!  This date sauce has a very similar taste to caramel, but it adds fiber as well as some vitamins/minerals to the recipe.  Don’t like the idea?  Just omit it from the recipe.

Alright, here it is:

Skinny Caramel Apple Pie

Makes 8 servings .  Requires about 2 hours from start to finish.

Crust:

2 cups         all-purpose flour

1/2 cup        canola oil

1/4 tsp         salt

2-3 Tbsp      room temperature water

Filling:

6 med/large  granny smith apples, peeled and sliced (or 8 small)

2 Tbsp            lemon juice

1/4 cup           Splenda or Truvia

2 tsp               ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp            each: nutmeg, ground ginger

1/2 cup          unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup          water

1 Tbsp            cornstarch

Crumble Topping:

1/3 cup         brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup         whole wheat flour

1/4 cup         old fashioned dry oats

3 Tbsp          plant oil-based tub butter

“Caramel” Drizzle:

1/3 cup         dates, chopped finely

1/2 cup         very hot water

Directions:

  1. for the crust, add flour, salt and oil into medium-sized mixing bowl and “cut” with a pastry blender (or fork), until pea-sized balls form.  Then add 1-2 Tbsp water gradually, while forming dough with hands.  Dough should be soft and only somewhat sticky. Form a ball and set aside (do not refrigerate)
  2. combine filling ingredients together in a bowl and let sit
  3. preheat oven to 425ºF and grease an 8-9 inch pie plate
  4. sprinkle flour on a flat surface, such as the countertop, and place the dough on top of the floured surface.  Using a rolling pin (that has been powdered with flour as well), begin rolling the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter.  Add more flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to rolling pin.
  5. gently remove the dough from the counter (might want to use a spatula to loosen the edges) and place in pie plate (it will likely come apart, but don’t worry; it can be pieced together once in the pie plate and will still turn out just fine when baked)
  6. smooth the dough in the pie plate until it is evenly covering the inside. Prick 10-15 times with a fork.
  7. pour apple filling into the middle and spread evenly. make sure to pour the juices from the bottom of the bowl in as well.
  8. using a small mixing bowl, combine crumble topping ingredients (works best with hands), until most of it is in the form of pea-sized balls
  9. sprinkle the crumble over the apple filling of the pie
  10. place in the center of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 350ºF and bake for 50 minutes more until filling is bubbling and crust is lightly browned (may need to cover with some aluminum foil toward the end of baking so the topping doesn’t burn; watch closely)
  11. blend dates until smooth, adding water as needed until it reaches the consistency of caramel. pour into a small, sealable sandwich bag and cut a very small hole in one of the bottom corners
  12. use this bag to help drizzle the “caramel” evenly over the entire pie and allow to set for 10-15 minutes so juices can settle before cutting into.

Skinny Caramel Apple Pie

Skinny Caramel Apple Pie

Nutrition Facts: 1/8 of pie: 400 calories, 16 grams of fat (2 grams of saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 62 grams of carbohydrate (4 carb choices), 6.5 grams of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, 5.5 grams of protein

Average Nutrition Facts for 3 Popular Apple Crumble Pie Recipes: Servings Size: 1/8 recipe: 450 calories, 20.5 grams of fat (7 grams of saturated fat), 320 mg sodium, 64 grams of carbohydrate (4 carb choices), 2.5 grams of fiber, 32 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein

Skinny Caramel Apple Pie

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