Tuesday, August 21, 2012

No Added Sugar, Please.....

I love pie.

We love pie.

Whenever John and I and friends plan or celebrate an event, it ideally involves pie: generous slabs of warm-from-the-oven fruit pies with a melty scoop of vanilla bean ice cream; or chilled tangy, sweet, and creamy pies topped with a spritz of whipped cream.

We celebrate frequently and for about any excuse that we can think of: weddings, holidays, Seattle Mariner Felix Hernandez's perfectly pitched game, Maggie and Lulu flunking out of their doggie obedience classes, or the fact that a Friday appears at the end of every week.

All momentous occasions.

There's a problem with this very enjoyable tradition. Bet you can guess what it is. Yeah....

Aside from the obvious weight gain hazard of these yummilicious desserts, there's also the fact that a few of our friends have recently discovered that they are teetering on the edge of adult-onset, also known as Type Two, diabetes.

Problematic. Hmmmm.

I was considering this interesting state of affairs with a decidedly cranky attitude the other day thinking that our pie parties had to come to a screeching halt. But I quickly realized that instead of looking at this situation as an obstacle, I should view it as simply a problem to be solved. Which meant.....


I LOVE research and development experiments. Remember the wedding cake, swiss buttercream, and hazelnut ganache R and D summer? Delightful.

Instead of a high fat, high sugar, high everything-that's-bad-for-us research investigation, this time I'm going to focus my experimentation on yummy no-sugar-added pies. And, if need be, would be willing to expand my research to include other dessert categories.

Sigh. If I must. It's all for a good cause.

Here's my first attempt, a no-added-sugar apple pie recipe that I found here, but made with a few of my own modifications. Because I can't leave anything alone. Ever.

My mom was dubious when I told her what the ingredient list was.

Mom: What? No sugar? No sugar at all? Yuck.

My mother weighs about 100 pounds, seriously. And she's a bundle of energy in spite of surviving breast cancer, heart bypass surgery, and a stroke. She's also the best pie maker in the entire universe. 

Me: Well, I think I'm going to give it a try. I'll let you know how it goes.

Mom: Well, if I were you......

Here's the Julia/Mom version of the recipe:

Apple Pie--No Sugar Added

6-8 apples (a variety of your choice), pared, cored and thinly sliced. (about 6 cups)
1 15 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained and pureed
2 Tablespoons quick tapioca
1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pastry for 2-crust 10-inch pie
2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Combine first five ingredients. Line pie plate with pastry. Brush butter over pastry bottom and sides. Fill with apple mixture. Place top crust over apples, seal and cut slits in top crust for steam to escape. Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes or until apples are soft but not mushy.

This pie came out of the oven looking yummy.

And smelling delicious.

And.........tasted great too.

Surprisingly great. Tart, yet with just enough natural sweetness to be completely satisfying. Well, now. This whole no-added-sugar experiment could prove to be danged tasty.

My next recipe will be one from Aunt Nubby's Kitchen: a creamy and tangy sugar-free lemon pie. We could celebrate......hmm.......help me think of something here, people....

Image from sjoggie Anita's blog Aunt Nubby's Kitchen

We'd better decide on our celebration reason quickly. This pie appears to have real potential.


Laura said...

Ooo, yum.

Also, is Splenda an option in some cases? I hear it bakes pretty well....

Amy Junod said...

Sugar is bad for our Sjoggie clubbers too. sigh

Love the photo of the apple pie cooling on the patio. If that was my patio table here in Texas it would still be bubbling.

You should post the pics on Pinterest!

Scott S said...

As a point of reference, sugar is a carbohydrate which is no better and no worse for people with any form of diabetes. Carbs of all types cause blood sugars to rise. Hence, even without the added sugars, the carb load is still fairly substantial with carbohydrate-dense ingredients including apples, crushed pineapples, tapioca (a starch) and of course, the crust which is made from some form of flour and is 100% carbohydrates. Having said all this, cutting sugars in these carb-y treats is still a good idea for everyone ... aside from reducing the calories, most forms of cancers thrive in a diet heavy in carbohydrates, so limiting consumption is good for everyone.

cargillwitch said...

I work with First Nations populations in Canada ( what North Americans erroneously call
" Indians"). The rates of type two diabetes are staggering.By age 30 about 60% are diabetic and the rates continue to rise at alarming jumps. As a nurse I am able to access the most recent trainings on management and prevention and I have to echo your prior poster- all carbohydrates effect insulin resistance, flour and fructose from fruit almost as quickly and damning as table sugar.It is becoming clear our " addiction" to the highs of these foods( followed by rapid lows) is fueling a whole host of worrisome health issues - and also it is starting to emerge is involved in inflammation and autoimmune dysfunction.
As a sweet tooth- I WISH it wasn't so!!

annie said...

I was going to point out that it isn't only sugar you have to worry about as a diabetic, but the carbs are a big issue, but Scott has done a great job explaining it really well. I'm not diabetic, but my father is insulin-dependent, so my Mom is careful of what he eats (not my Dad)!

Anita Rowe Stafford said...

Your apple pie looks wonderful, the pineapple seems like such a wonderful idea, never knew diabetics had to be so careful with carbs! Good information! Hope you enjoy the lemon pie.