Go Straight to Recipe (skip chatty stuff)

This was one of the first sugar-free things I ever came up with. My then-boyfriend (now husband) was lamenting how he can never have apple pie, because the filling is nearly always mostly congealed sugar with apple bits in it. I went to the kitchen and created this, and he has loved it since the first bite! I figure that apples are plenty sweet enough to be tasty without all that sugar, so why add it? I think that this pie has a particularly spiced-cider kind of taste, which I really enjoy.

Unlike Jennifer, I do not post pictures of every step. Since my doughs et cetera are not extremely weird looking, I figure a good description of the steps will suffice! In this case, it won’t matter if everything is picture-perfect, it will turn out to be very tasty anyway. The pie will settle and get a lot shorter during baking–it’s a side effect of using only apples for the filling. However, it will taste great, so it won’t matter, and I think it still looks pretty good!


  • 2 nine inch pie crusts (prepackaged or homemade)
  • 6-7 cups cored, peeled and sliced Jonathan or Braeburn apples (or similar baking apple–roughly 5 or 6)
  • 3 TBS unbleached flour
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • scant 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 2-3 TBS honey (enough to do generous drizzles across the apples–I never bother measuring)
  • 1 TBS cold butter


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Press the bottom pie crust into a greased 9″ pie pan (glass preferred). In a big bowl, combine chopped apples, lemon juice, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and cloves. Mix until the apples are pretty evenly coated. Dump the apple mixture into the prepared pie crust and make sure they are spread out as evenly as you can (mounded more toward the center is fine, and will make putting the top crust on the pie easier). Cut the cold butter into small pieces (about 8 will do) and dot them across the top of the apples. Drizzle the honey over all of that. Put the top crust on and crimp the edges shut*. Put little slits in the top of the pie, scattered all over the top of the surface (these are steam vents). Bake for about 45 minutes or until browned.

*Crimping the edges of the pie is when you make those little “ruffles” that go around the edge. In a two-crust pie like this one they serve to keep the two crusts together. Just drape the top crust over the full pie and pinch the extra dough from the top and bottom crusts together with your fingers. The finished pinching should stand up all along the edge of the pie pan. And yes, a 9″ pie crust should hang over the edges of the 9″ pie pan, so don’t trim it to be an “exact” fit. I don’t know who measures these things, but it’s the way it’s done <shrug>.