Apple pie is the ultimate dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth. However, enjoying this sweet pie can be tricky if you’re cutting out processed sugar.
Luckily, you can make apple pie without using sugar. You can either use sugar substitutes or rely on the naturally sweet taste of apples.
In this article, we’ll go through all the different ways you can make a delicious, sweet apple pie, no sugar included! Let’s dive in.
The sugar you add to an apple pie depends on how sweet you want the pie filling to be. In fact, many recipes recommend adding sugar to taste.
Usually, you put about ⅔ cup of sugar in the apple pie filling. You can use ⅓ cup white sugar and ⅓ cup brown sugar, or only white sugar.
You should note that if you’re going to use only white sugar, you might not need as much as it’s sweeter than brown sugar.
You can also make your pie crust using sugar. Though, you need to add only a small amount of sugar, so you’ll barely notice its taste.
For a 100-gram pie crust, you only need about one tablespoon of white sugar. Alternatively, you can make a perfect pie crust without using any sugar at all.
You can definitely make an apple pie without using brown sugar.
The reason brown sugar is a popular ingredient in apple pies is that it has a toffee-like flavor that compliments the apple and cinnamon so well.
Still, apple pie can taste just fine without brown sugar, In fact, you can make an apple pie without using sugar at all.
Pies consist of two parts, the crust, and the filling. For the crust, you don’t need to add sugar at all, as pie crusts consist of flour, fat, and liquid.
Yet, some recipes recommend adding sugar to the pie crust. That’s because sugar makes the crust more tender.
You can easily get a tender crust without using sugar by kneading the dough for less time or adding more liquid.
As for the filling, whether you use white sugar or brown sugar, it just makes the filling sweeter!
Well, you can still enjoy a sugar-free apple pie, it’ll just be less sweet. If you want a sweet, tasty pie, you can use sugar substitutes, and honey, or try a sweeter variety of apples.
Now that you know it’s possible to make a delicious apple pie without using sugar, here’s how.
The first method to make a sweet apple pie with no sugar is quite straightforward. Just use sugar substitutes!
There are many things to add to your apple pie filling to make it just as gratifying, including the following:
If you’ve ever tried cutting out sugar, you know how much of a life-saver honey can be. It’s the perfect sweetener for cooking, drinks, and especially desserts.
Honey goes perfectly with apple and cinnamon. Furthermore, it’s a lot sweeter than sugar, so you might add a lot less of it.
While honey is packed with more calories and carbohydrates than sugar, it’s completely natural and unprocessed. The health benefits of honey are also a bonus.
First, honey is a great source of vitamin C, calcium, zinc, and antioxidants. Additionally, since it’s unprocessed, it takes more time to digest.
This means that with honey, your blood sugar levels are less likely to spike, and you’re also less likely to experience a sugar crash later.
Most brown sugar is just white sugar with molasses. That’s why it makes perfect sense to use it in your apple pie instead of sugar.
Molasses will add a smokey, caramel flavor to the apple filling. It also pairs perfectly with the spices in the pie, like cinnamon and nutmeg.
While molasses is technically sugar, the refining process makes it quite a healthy alternative. Its glycemic index is much lower than sugar, keeping your blood sugar levels stable.
Additionally, molasses is perfect for combating obesity, maintaining bone health, and getting healthy shiny hair.
If that wasn’t enough, molasses can also be an excellent source of iron. So, it can help prevent iron-deficiency anemia in children.
Using artificial sweeteners in apple filling is a perfect way for diabetics and sugar-free individuals to still enjoy their favorite sweet dessert.
Artificial sweeteners have no effect on blood sugar. They also have zero calories and almost no nutritional value. All they do is provide a sweet taste!
Many people avoid artificial sweeteners in desserts as they have a bitter aftertaste. However, since artificial sweeteners are 200 to 700 times as sweet as sugar, you will only need a small amount.
Most people are used to Granny Smith apples in their pies. While these apples provide the perfect texture, they’re quite tart, making them an unlikely choice if you’re not adding any sugar.
Instead, opt for sweeter apple varieties like the following:
Fuji apples are one of the most widely available apple varieties. They’re also the sweetest. This makes them perfect for your no-sugar apple pie.
Furthermore, these apples cook down quite well as they retain their shape when cooked. This provides a somewhat firm texture for the apple pie.
Gala apples have an incredibly firm texture even when cooked. The skin of Gala apples is thin, so you don’t even need to peel them before cooking.
The flavor of these apples is quite mild compared to Fuji, so you won’t be able to taste any other notes except the sugary ones. This means the sweetness of the apples will really shine.
Honeycrisp apples have both a distinct apple flavor, and naturally high sugars. This gives you the perfect combination for your sugar-free apple pie.
The only downside to using Honeycrisp apples is that they quickly crumble when cooked. Still, you can easily thicken the apple filling by adding a teaspoon or two of starch!
If you’re still unsure how to make an apple pie with no sugar, here’s the perfect recipe for a naturally sweet apple pie:
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold, unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons cold water
- 6 cups sliced Honeycrisp apples
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 425 ℉.
- To make the pie crust, mix together flour, salt, and cold butter in a food processor until a crumbly dough forms.
- In a bowl, add the crumbly dough, then add a tablespoon of cold water at a time until a cohesive dough forms.
- Refrigerate the dough for one hour, then carefully roll out half the dough into your pie dish and pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork.
- Line the crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper, then add pie weights and bake for 20 – 30 minutes.
- Take the crust out of the oven when golden, remove the weights and foil, then let the pie crust rest for 10 minutes.
- Combine the apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cornstarch in a bowl, then transfer the fillings to the pie crust.
- Roll out the remaining half of the crust dough, seal the edges, and cut a slit at the top.
- Bake at 375 ℉ for 30 minutes, then at 400 ℉ for 20 minutes.
There’s no denying that apple pie is the perfect American dessert. Not only is it extremely appetizing, but you can also adjust the sugar content to your liking.
Furthermore, since apples are already sweet, you might cut the sugar out completely while still enjoying a sweet pie!
To make an apple pie -no sugar included- you can instead add honey, molasses, or artificial sweeteners. Alternatively, you can opt for a sweet apple variety, such as Honeycrisp.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.