Apple Pie, Lightened Up

by in Meal Makeovers, September 22, 2009

Apple-Cranberry Galette
With apple season here and the holidays fast approaching, it’s hard not to crave homemade apple pie, but all the fat and calories can help pack on the pounds over winter. How about some lighter options?

Nutrition Facts
A modest slice of apple pie has more than 400 calories and about 20 grams of fat (five of those come from the less-healthy saturated fats). Add some ice cream or whipped cream, and you’re looking at well over 500 calories, which knocks out 25% of the average 2,000-calorie diet. Skipping the toppings is a good place to start, but there are ways to adjust the main ingredients and still satisfy that apple pie urge.

The fruity filling is the least problematic part of your average apple pie; the crust is another story (more on that below). Most fillings are made from apples, a small amount of sugar and some low-calorie flavorings like cinnamon, vanilla or lemon juice. Watch out for recipes that call for gobs of butter — save that for the crust. The ingredients may include a sprinkle of flour to help thicken the filling; that’s not going to make a significant difference on the calories or fat so don’t worry. Some folks pile on loads of apples, which can cause the calories to climb. One apple has about 70 calories — you really shouldn’t need more than half to three-quarters of an apple per person in a slice.

Butter, shortening and lard are three things that help make a flaky and tasty pie crust — unfortunately, they contribute oodles of fat and calories. Your smartest option is to use half of the crust by making a galette, which is a rustic, open-faced apple tart. You can have all the apple pie flavor (with the same ingredients) in much more figure-friendly portions.

Pre-made refrigerated pie dough is an option for in-a-pinch baking, but I prefer to make my own from scratch. Use a combo of all-purpose and whole-wheat pastry flour for a nutty flavor and some extra fiber. Of course, you will need some butter, but replacing some of it with plain low-fat yogurt or light sour cream can help make a lighter but still flavorful crust.

Beyond a galette, try using light, airy (and much lower calorie) phyllo dough to make apple turnovers, or make a warm apple crisp with a crunchy topping made from oats and a few nuts. For fall dinner parties, I like to make individual apple crisps in ramekins for my guests. With all the calories saved, there’s room for a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

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Comments (14)

  1. What a unique apple pie. This is certainly a new way to make it.

  2. Sheri Coleman says:

    I also have a great recipe using canola oil…just omit the butter/shortening from the recipe and use 25% less canola oil. For example: if your crust recipe calls for 1 cup shortening, use 3/4 cups canola oil. Chill the dough ball and roll out between two sheets of non-stick wrap. Its excellent, tasty and flaky!
    Now…your are not only getting a healthier fat and less fat over all!

  3. Liz says:

    I also use a canola crust and people always rave about it. For a two-crust pie, I mix two cups flour with 1/2 tsp. salt, then mix 1/2 cup canola oil with about 5 T. cold water. Add the oil-water mixture to the flour and mix till just combined. This rolls out well without chilling, which is also a plus.

  4. Greg says:

    watched a program on the making of canola oil(from a weed in Canada)wow what a process and I believe with time people will realize its not very healthy or good for you

  5. joann says:

    I use smarter balance in place of butter and the crusts are flaky and delicious.

  6. Lynette says:

    Wow. Thanks for the great tips!

  7. Teri says:

    this is fascinating,,, I will try this recipe with the canola oil.. I love the canola oil, I use it for everything and my daughter has introduced me to Smart Balance, I love it, too… I have always used REAL butter. I still keep on hand though, bad.. I am really trying to weed myself off of it, though, but I do use it in MODERATION…yeah, right…

  8. Kendobc says:

    Don’t use canola oil. Use either a ‘pure’ olive oil, not an extra virgin. By ‘pure’ I mean one that is from a later pressing so it should be more yellow in colour, not the greenish tint of the extra virgin. The extra virgin will make the crust very wet and also introduce a stronger olive oil flavour. I personally use a sunflower now more than olive oil because of it’s lack of flavour and its much cheaper than the olive oil.

    Sunflower is a great oil!

  9. IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offencesFor abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

  10. tongkat ali says:

    Cuando veo su feed RSS que arroja un montón de basura, es el mal funcionamiento de mi parte?

  11. Marsha says:

    Thank you soooo Much!!!

  12. Jan says:

    I love the canola oil idea. My husband adores apple pie, and since we both need to watch our cholesterol intake, I don't make it as often as he would like. I'll definitely try this. Thanks!

  13. EDNA says:

    Thanks! Sounds very easy. I will try this one out soon.

  14. EDNA says:

    I don't know what is unhealthy about canola oil but I wish I know what show you saw it on. My heart doctor said if I ever need to use oil for anything to use canola oil instead. I use extra virgin olive oil for small things since it has more fat & things in it.
    Let us know what you saw & where on TV please.

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