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ADelectable, Classic Autumn Dessert — with No Added Sugar

Featured Recipe

Naturally Sweet Apple PieEvery year, autumn ushers in changing hues, blustery winds, and warmer layers. But it remains a magical time of year for its rich variety of available foods and its comforting cinnamon aromas of baking delicacies. With our latest recipe, we also welcome fall with open arms and eager stomachs.

In last week’s post about reaping harvest produce, Residential Home Health registered dietitian Laura offered some insights into the different types and tastes of apples. Now, she shares a delicious and diabetes-conscious recipe to make the most of those succulent, tart varieties. This classic baked dessert has no added sugar beyond the apples’ sweetness; sliced thinly, each modest portion’s 200 calories can be a mouthwatering finale to a sensibly planned harvest meal.

Naturally Sweet Apple Pie

Servings: 12 | Time: About 75 minutes


2 rolled pie shells, 9-inch size
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 cups (12 fl oz) unsweetened apple juice concentrate, thawed
6 cups sliced tart apples


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch, cinnamon, allspice, and 1/3 cup of the apple juice concentrate. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, simmer apples with the remaining apple juice concentrate until apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and continue to simmer until thickened. Remove from heat.
  4. Line a 9-inch pie plate with one of the pie shells. Spoon the warm apple filling into the plate, then cover with the second pie shell. Seal and flute edges, and cut steam vents in the top crust.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool, then slice and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 205; Total Fat: 7.1 g; Saturated Fat: 1.1 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 145 mg; Carbohydrates: 34.9 g; Sugars: 20.3 g; Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g; Protein: 1.3 g


  • Cutting vents into the top of a pie and sealing the edges of the crust help keep the bubbly filling from spilling over into the oven. ‘Fluting’ the edges is a decorative step that also reinforces the seal; an even simpler method is to use the tines of a fork to stamp a ‘crimp’ pattern into the crust. This video is one of many to demonstrate these techniques.
  • Pie crust can brown or even burn along the delicate edge. Try protecting the outermost crust by surrounding it with a ring of loosely gathered foil. For that golden brown finish, remove the foil with about 5 minutes of baking time left.
  • Remember that the term ‘no added sugar’ does not necessarily mean ‘sugar-free.’ While omitting added table sugar makes the dessert a friendlier option for eaters with diabetes, remember that this pie contains over 20 grams of sugar in the form of fruit sugar, which naturally occur in the apples and juice.
  • Also note that fruit pie consists almost entirely of carbohydrates, at 35 grams. You’ll feel your best if you enjoy this dish after a balanced meal, including a dose of lean protein and possibly a touch of healthy fat. Remain mindful of your portion sizes as well as vigilant about your blood sugar levels after eating.
  • Keep your splurge smart by putting away the ice cream scoop. Instead, try a lower-calorie option, like a dollop of whipped topping or a sprinkle of cinnamon. Remember that even a non-fat topping can add to the dish’s calorie count and/or alter your nutrient balance.
  • Because frozen apple pie can keep for around 4 months, you might want to take advantage of the harvest season now, and carefully store your pie in the freezer for later. This link has lots of suggestions for storing pie either before or after baking.