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The Best No-Sugar-Added Apple Pie

Apple Pie

By Kaly JohnesPublished about a month ago 3 min read

This no-sugar-added apple pie gets its natural sweetness from antioxidant- and fiber-rich dates. Cider vinegar helps to enhance the flavor. We like Gala apples for their sweetness and crisp texture, but any sweet, firm apple will work well. If you like your apple pie on the tart side, add a Granny Smith to the mix. We use frozen pie crusts for the bottom and top of the pie. The dough should release easily from the tin for the top crust within about 10 minutes out of the freezer. If not, let it sit out a bit longer until it releases easily.

Nutrition Notes

Are Dates Good for You?

Commonly referred to as “nature’s candy” due to their natural sweetness, dates are full of antioxidants that may contribute to heart and brain health. Certain varieties of dates have been shown to have antibacterial properties, fighting against microbes, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus and Escherichia coli. Dates are also a good source of fiber—and fiber has many health benefits, including improving gut health and keeping things moving along through the digestive tract, as well as lowering the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

Are Apples Healthy?

Apples are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and they’re a low-glycemic food—which means they won’t spike your blood sugar. The peel of the apple contains a lot of the apple’s nutrition, which is why we left it on for this recipe. Research shows that eating apples may contribute to heart and brain health, lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and fight cancer.

Tips from the Test Kitchen

Should I Peel the Apples for the Pie?

No, you can keep the peel on for this apple pie. It will give the pie more texture, and you’ll save time on prep.

Can I Make This Apple Pie Ahead?

Yes, you can bake the apple pie ahead and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Apple Is Best for No-Sugar-Added Apple Pie?

We like using Gala apples for this pie, which are sweet with a crisp texture. You can also use other varieties of apples that are firm and sweet, like Honeycrisp or Fuji. Add a Granny Smith apple if you like its sharp, tart flavor.


2 (9-inch) frozen pie shells, preferably whole-wheat

5 pitted dates

2-4 tablespoons water, divided

5 medium Gala apples, unpeeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick (7 cups)

3 teaspoons cider vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

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Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove pie shells from freezer to thaw slightly at room temperature.

Combine dates and 2 tablespoons water in a food processor; process until a thick, mostly smooth paste forms, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. If needed, add the remaining 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach desired consistency

Transfer the date paste to a large mixing bowl; add apples, vinegar and cinnamon. Stir with a rubber spatula until the apples are fully coated.

Transfer the apple mixture to one of the pie shells; pat into an even layer. Flip the other crust from its tin onto the top of the apple mixture; using a fork, crimp the top crust into the bottom crust to seal. Cut 3 (1-inch) slits into the top crust.

Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the apples are tender, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 2 hours.


About the Creator

Kaly Johnes

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