Low-Guilt Desserts

Updated: Feb 23

By Billa


I like desserts, who doesn’t? But, lately, I’ve been feeling guilty about consuming all that sugar. So, for a while now, I’ve been thinking of making desserts using unsweetened apple sauce instead of sugar. This week, I happened to have in my refrigerator a big bag of Gala apples, some leftover thawed filo sheets, and a large jar of unsweetened apple sauce. So, I dug up some favorite recipes, tweaked them a bit and ended up with a pretty tasty apple pie and strudel. In fact, they were so good that I did not miss the sugar or the guilt.


Here are the recipes:


Apple Pie


4 Gala apples

1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1 TBS. lemon juice

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup raisins

1 TBS. flour

3 TBS. butter, melted and cooled slightly

6 9 x 14” sheets of filo pastry


  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. Peel, core, and slice apples thickly. Combine in a bowl with apple sauce, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, walnuts, raisins, and flour.

  3. Brush some butter over the bottom and sides of a 9” tart pan.

  4. Unroll filo sheets and place on a flat surface. Cover with a damp towel.

  5. Lay one filo sheet over the tart pan and push it down so it fits snugly around the pan with the excess length hanging over. Brush with butter.

  6. Repeat with the rest of the filo sheets, laying each one at an angle to the preceding one and buttering it.

  7. Mound the apple filling on top.

  8. Gather the overhanging filo sheets and bring them up over the edge, as if for a galette.

  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes. If not brown enough, place under broiler for 1 minute.











Apple Strudel


2 Gala apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced thinly

1 TBS. flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

6 9 x 14” sheets of filo pastry

3 TBS. butter, melted and slightly cooled


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Combine apples, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, apple sauce, raisins, and walnuts in a medium bowl.

  3. Unroll filo sheets and place on flat surface with damp towel on top. Place one sheet of filo atop the parchment paper on the baking sheet. Brush with butter. Repeat with the rest of the sheets. Spread filling in the middle of the filo rectangle, keeping a 1” main on top and bottom (short) sides of the filo rectangle and 2” on each side.

  4. Lift one long side over the pastry. Lift the other and let it form a seam with the one that was lifted first. Press on seam so the pastry comes together. Tuck together the pastry at the top and bottom. Pick up the pastry with both ends and flip it so the long seam is on the bottom. Brush pastry with remaining butter.

  5. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 and continue baking until nicely browned, another 15-20 minutes. Let cool before slicing.

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