Diabetes-Friendly Classic Apple Pie

I was born with a sweet tooth, y’all which is obviously a challenge for me with my low carb diet. This classic apple pie recipe is really interesting for the holidays in that way!

I don’t always like sugar substitutes (most of them taste downright awful), and usually, if I’m going to indulge, I just try to account for it, but it’s not a bad thing to have a healthier version of something in your pocket.

But I really had to try my best to make a lightened version of classic apple pie.

Some of the recipes I’ve seen for lightened versions are still a little bit heavy, but I substituted some elements to accommodate.

Instead of using white sugar in this recipe, I used coconut sugar. Although it has a slightly lower calorie count per tablespoon, coconut sugar has a low glycemic index, so the sugar absorbs more slowly. I have another recipe that explains it and uses it.

I’ve been working hard to come up with diabetes-friendly favorites for classics that I love, and what I found was that it’s not easy to make something that’s a little healthier and tastes like the original!

I did have some great tools to help with today’s apple pie baking endeavor. I’m participating in OXO’s Baking A Difference campaign, which raises awareness about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a national 501(c)3 non-profit, is committed to raising funds for research to develop new, improved treatments for pediatric cancer, the #1 disease killer of children in the U.S.

They provide inspiration and support for individuals, businesses, and organizations to raise funds by hosting grassroots bake sales and other fundraising events.

OXO sent me some reliable tools to do good with, so I felt like I could get this job done, and make a delicious pie that people with diabetes might be able to enjoy without guilt. Although it’s good to have all treats in moderation, you can enjoy this one just a little bit more without the guilt.

I wanted to build this pie from the ground up, so of course, I started with the crust.

I like to use big measuring cups when I bake Apple Pie because I can use my scale and measure ingredients exactly (which is so important in baking, because it’s chemistry, an extra ounce here or there can be a catastrophe!). Sometimes you can’t always do that with single-cup measuring cups.

This OXO 4 cup angled measuring cup is so brilliant because you can measure accurately from above. Most of the time you have to fill the cup, and look on the side of the container to make sure your measurement is flat and accurate. But the angled piece in this measuring cup allows measurement from above. So cool, and it’s accurate both ways! And it honestly keeps me a little lazy. I like that!

Another important tool you need in your kitchen arsenal, and especially for pie making is a solid set of measuring spoons.

I always feel like a little bit of a fool using measuring spoons because of that little tiny connector ring that’s supposed to make your life easy and keep your set connected.

Let’s be real, that never works. Why am I going to wash all eight measuring spoons instead of just the one I used? Don’t we all know that once I take that spoon off the ring, it’s probably never going back on?

I feel like OXO asks these questions about all of the products they make so that they can make our kitchen workflows much smoother.

That’s why I loved this set of  Good Grips Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons because OXO thought of people like me who have organizational problems in the kitchen and made these babies MAG-NET-IC!

Yep! No ring. No washing ten measuring spoons. Just use what you need and click the rest together! I used my measuring spoons to add salt to my dough mixture, and ice water when it was time to form the dough in my stand mixer.

Pie crust is often tough to make because it requires just the right amount of handling without melting the butter too much, resulting in a tough, chewy dough. You want your dough to be very cold, so the idea is to get it together without fiddling with it too much.

Most people use a food processor to get their dough to come together, but I have a tiny kitchen, and I try to make sure my kitchen appliances can multitask. I use my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer to get things to come together. I throw on the dough hook and let it do its magic. It doesn’t work as well as a food processor would in getting everything fine, but it does a great job.

Once the dough has loosely formed, I do my magic, kneading it quickly, and making sure to roll it into layers with a rolling pin. I use a marble board for this because marble stays slightly colder than other materials, and it keeps my butter from melting. You want the butter in your dough to remain cold at all costs. That’s how you get that nice, flakey, crispy dough.

Then, your pie dish is going to be an important part of this process. I’m infatuated with OXO’s 9″ Pie dish. Not only is it DEEEP, but it also has wide, grippy edges that make handling it a breeze. I’ve been known to drop a pie or two straight out of the oven because it is hard to grip the sides of the pie dish.

This one is excellent. I also love that it can go from hot to cold relatively quickly without the glass shattering on you because it’s made of super durable borosilicate glass. It’s still a glass piece, so obviously it needs to be handled with care, but it is most definitely a study piece for your kitchen.

I also like to egg wash my crust here. I want to make sure each layer gets a good browning. I used to OXO Good Grips Silicone Pastry Brush for this part of the pie.

This is a great tool because unlike other brushes, It doesn’t fray, it’s easy to clean, and it’s got an angled handle, so you don’t get egg wash all over your surface.

I used it backward here on my marble board – learn from my mistakes, y’all!

Then, we get to the filling, where I tested three times before I got the right consistency and feel. I subbed corn starch in the filling for tapioca flour (because I forgot cornstarch, but somehow I had tapioca flour – crazy, I know).

I used coconut sugar here too as my white sugar substitute. Coconut sugar is sweet, but it has an almost nutty essence to it.

When it’s turned into a caramel-sauce, you get the sweetness and depth that white sugar just doesn’t have – even when you turn it into caramel. 

I also used very tart apples for the filling – beautiful, green granny smith apples peeled, and cored!

And of course, I couldn’t wait to dig in and share this pie. OXO gave me the perfect cutting tool for that!

This pie and cake server is suitable for ambidextrous people like me who can go from lefty to righty at the flip of a dime.

All of that work to come up with this beautiful pie. It was worth it knowing that I was doing something special for kiddos who are fighting for their lives.

See the recipe below, and let me know if you have any tips for making a beautiful pie.

If you want to donate to Cookies For Kids Cancer, please do so, and help kids battling pediatric cancer.

If you want to see all of the tools I used (and more good ones that can help your pie baking experience, check out the links below)!

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Classic Apple Pie

A lightened apple pie that tastes just as good as the “real” sugar classic. Made with coconut sugar, you still get a great balance and depth in the filling and crust.

In the notes below, you’ll find other alternatives in case coconut sugar is not an option for you, and if you want to reduce the carbohydrates in this recipe.

  • Author: Mila
  • Prep Time: 3 Hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
Scale

Ingredients

FOR THE CRUST

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 68 tablespoons of ice water.
  • 1 teaspoon salt

FOR THE FILLING

  • 10 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and cored
  • 2/3 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 lemon for juice
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla
  • 68 tablespoons of tapioca flour OR 3-4 tablespoons of cornstarch to thicken the mixture.
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 Egg, for egg wash

Instructions

FOR THE CRUST

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cube cold butter into 1″ pieces
  3. Combine butter, sugar, flour, and salt in a stand mixer and let it mix until loosely combined.
  4. Knead in layers (while being careful not to overhandle the dough).
  5. Wrap in plastic and chill for two hours.

FOR THE FILLING

  1. Add your butter to a hot pan, waiting for the butter to brown, and for a nutty aroma.
  2. Add coconut sugar to browned butter.
  3. Add Vanilla, salt, lemon zest, and chopped apples tossed in lemon juice to the mixture.
  4. Turn up the heat until the mixture bubbles and then lower the heat to medium.
  5. Add tapioca flour (or corn starch), and stir until the mixture thickens.
  6. Let cool.

GETTING READY TO BAKE.

  1. Take out your dough and roll it into 9in circles around1/4 of an inch thick. You’ll want to do this for both the top and bottom.
  2. Roll your dough over the pie dish and form the bottom dough.
  3. Poke holes in the bottom to let the air escape.
  4. Pour in the filling, leaving about 1 inch of room in the pie dish.
  5. Take the top disk of your dough, and place it over the pie dish.
  6. Cut off any excess dough on the sides.
  7. Shape your crust any way you would like to.
  8. Dust with Egg Wash.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes until the top and bottom crusts are golden, and the middle is gooey.
  10. Take it out, and let it cool.
  11. Enjoy!

Notes

  • This pie yields about 12 generous slices. If you’re watching carbs, you’ll still be satisfied with a smaller slice. 
  • Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index, and nuttier taste than white sugar. While it still has a similar carbohydrate count, you may see less of a glucose spike. Everyone is metabotically different, so you test out what works for you.
  • If you want to further minimize your carbohydrates, I reccomended using swerve‘s brown sugar mixed with it’s granulated sugar replacement. It works just as well, but it is not as sweet. It will save you a lot of carbs/sugar.
  • Another way to minimize the carbohydrate impact, is to make these bite-sized. You can make mini version of this same recipe in a mini cupcake pan. This recipe makes roughly 40 minis
  • A final word: apple pie is apple pie. If you know that it can fit into your diet, enjoy it, and balance out your meals to accommodate for it! 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 359
  • Sugar: 25g
  • Sodium: 150mg
  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 53g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 55mg

Keywords: Apple pie, classic apple pie, low carb apple pie

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