Deep-Dish Apple Pie: 4 Tricks to Make It Healthier and Still Delicious

Deep-Dish Apple Pie: 4 Tricks to Make It Healthier and Still Delicious
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Deep-Dish Apple Pie: 4 Tricks to Make It Healthier and Still Delicious

1. Keep the fat in the crust to a minimum.

Use reduced-fat sour cream to replace some of the butter. And follow the basic rules of great pastry: always use chilled butter and ice-cold water, use a light hand when working with the dough and let the dough chill before rolling it out.

Image Credit: Getty Images

2. Add some fiber by using a mixture of whole-wheat flour and all-purpose flour in the crust.

There's a fine balance between making your pie crust healthy and making your pie crust taste like cardboard. Use a mix of traditional all-purpose and whole-wheat pastry flour.

Image Credit: jupiterimages

3. Choose apples for flavor and texture. And use plenty of them!

Apple pie should taste good, but not feel like mush in your mouth. Use a mix of McIntosh and Granny Smith apples. The McIntosh add a nice tangy flavor while the Granny Smith also taste good, but break down less when they cook, giving the filling a more toothsome texture.

Image Credit: jupiterimages

4. Keep your sugar in check.

Apple pie is about apples. Why drown them in sugar? Cook down a portion of the apples for the filling before adding them to the crust so the crust doesn’t collapse and crack as much while it’s baking. It concentrates the natural flavors and sugar of the apples, so you don’t have to add as much sugar to your filling.

Image Credit: Corbis

Don't miss some of our best pie recipes, including apple pie and more.

Cosmos Apple Pie

We like to use Granny Smiths because they hold their shape and are tart enough to complement the sweetness and spices. A little dusting of cinnamon sugar makes the pie look and taste great.

Click here for the recipe: Cosmos Apple Pie

Apple Pie Sundaes With Cheddar Crust Shards

Using a slightly tart apple, like a Granny Smith or Pink Lady, is key to this frozen-yogurt sundae; sautéing brings out the fruit's sweetness. The crispy, salty cheddar crisps are as good with cocktails as they are with desserts.

Click here for the recipe: Apple Pie Sundaes With Cheddar Crust Shards

Monica's Blackberry and Summer Apple Pie

While the pie is baking, take the rolled-out dough scraps, sprinkle them with cinnamon-sugar or fold a little jam inside, and bake until browned.

Click here for the recipe: Monica's Blackberry and Summer Apple Pie

Deep-Dish Apple Pie

We use whole-wheat pastry flour to add fiber and lower the saturated fat by replacing some of the butter with canola oil. The brown sugar-sweetened filling in this pie is made with two kinds of apples for the perfect balance.

Click here for the recipe: Deep-Dish Apple Pie

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

We’ve updated the traditional apple pie with a grown-up version of those caramel apples we used to enjoy as kids. We mix a variety of three apples and drizzle them with caramel sauce, then sprinkle on a bit of fleur de sel.

Click here for the recipe: Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Triple Berry Crumble Pie

We use blueberries, raspberries and blackberries to create this fruity pie, but feel free to swap those out for three of your favorite berries.

Click here for the recipe: Triple Berry Crumble Pie

Honey-Sweetened Cherry Pie

This cherry pie recipe is pure magic. If you can’t find sour cherries, don’t fret — it’s also delicious with sweet cherries. The filling has a hint of clove and honey, which gives it a novel flavor.

Click here for the recipe: Honey-Sweetened Cherry Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb and strawberries go hand in hand, and what better way to honor the combination than in this classic summer pie? The lattice top looks fancy but the technique is super-easy to master.

Click here for the recipe: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Pie

To create a crisp crust on the bottom, Grace Parisi partially bakes the pie shell before adding the filling. If the edge starts to darken too much, cover it with a pie shield or strips of foil.

Click here for the recipe: Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Pie


I used to think the key to a good apple pie was a butter- or shortening-laden flaky crust and lots of sugar to balance out the tartness of the apples. That was until I tried EatingWell Test Kitchen Manager Stacy Fraser's version of deep-dish apple pie. Our resident baking maven turned my assumptions inside out. You would never know the pie she developed—minus tons of butter or shortening and loads of sugar—is much healthier than traditional versions.

Check out the slideshow above for tips on how to make your apple pie healthier plus related recipes.

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