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How to Bake a Healthy Pie for Dessert

Have your pie and eat it, too, with tips for lightening up almost any pie from crust to topping.


  • Step 1: Use a single crust Use only a single bottom crust, which will save you 120 calories and 8 grams of fat per slice of an eight-slice, 9-inch pie.
  • TIP: Ditch the crust altogether and line a pie dish with crumbs over a layer of cooking spray. Try gingersnaps, shortbread cookies, graham crackers, or chocolate cookie crumbs.
  • Step 2: Swap white flour Swap half the white flour in your crust recipe with whole wheat pastry flour. You'll gain 1-1/2 grams of fiber per slice.
  • Step 3: Use good fat Use a pie crust recipe that calls for oil instead of shortening and use a healthy oil, like canola. Use less than called for and substitute the rest with low-fat buttermilk or fat-free cream cheese.
  • Step 4: Reduce sugar Reduce the amount of sugar in your pie filling by half or replace half with sugar substitute.
  • Step 5: Cut filling fat Cut the butter in your filling -- which can normally go up to a half a cup -- to about two tablespoons. Use fat-free sweetened condensed milk in recipes that call for sweetened condensed milk and evaporated skimmed milk in recipes that call for evaporated milk. Try low-fat or light cream cheese in place of the full-fat variety.
  • TIP: Make your own fruit pie filling to boost fiber and nutrients.
  • Step 6: Top it off Top your healthy pie off with low-fat vanilla ice cream or fat-free whipped topping and dig in.
  • FACT: The American Pie Council named January 23 National Pie Day, dedicated to celebrating pie.

You Will Need

  • Single crust
  • Whole wheat pastry flour
  • Canola oil
  • Low-fat buttermilk or fat-free cream cheese
  • Sugar substitute
  • Fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • Evaporated skimmed milk
  • Low-fat or light cream cheese
  • Low-fat vanilla ice cream or low-fat whipped topping
  • Cookie crumbs (optional)
  • Fruit (optional)

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