For me, the hardest part of dieting is cutting back on desserts. More lean protein, less carbs? Fine, hand me the chicken breast, and I’ll give you the bread basket. More fruits and veggies? Awesome! I love fruit, and can do some serious damage to a pile of greens. But when I see a plate of cookies or a pan of brownies? Disaster. My sweet tooth is a cruel mistress, and she’s hard to ignore. Really, the more I try to deprive myself of sugary goods, the more I think about them, and the more I end up eating. It’s a depressingly vicious cycle.
So, instead of completely cutting desserts out of my life (it doesn’t last long anyway), I’ve decided to try making all my sweet treats a little healthier. I want to feel like I’m indulging in something deliciously naughty, but actually be consuming something low cal and relatively healthy. These apple crunch pie apple cups are the perfect example of that. They taste exactly like apple pie with a crunchy crumb topping, but have half the calories, less fat, and more healthy nutrients than a single slice of pie. And, despite being low-cal and healthy, they don’t feel or taste at all like diet food. Dan and I each had a cup for lunch, and we both agreed that it was one of the tastiest desserts we’d ever had. I will definitely be making this again!
Apple Crunch Pie Apple Cups (Inspired by Testado, Provado, & Aprovado’s recipe)
Ingredients: (Makes two servings – 250 cal per serving)
(Pie filling/cup portion)
- 2 gala apples
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp cinnamon (use less if you’re not a cinnamon lover)
(Crunchy crumb topping)
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
- 1-1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 dash cinnamon
- 2 tsp cream
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Slice the top off of your apples.
- Using a paring knife and a spoon, carefully cut/scoop out the inside of each apple, leaving about 1/4 inch of fruit all around to keep your cup sturdy.
** Tip — I read somewhere that you can use a melon ball scoop to scoop out the insides of your apple. Genius! Haven’t tried it, but I bet it’s easier than using a knife/spoon.
- Chop the apple chunks you scooped out into small pieces. Place in a small bowl and toss with granulated sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon to coat.
- Divide apple pie filling evenly between your two apple cups. Place apple cups in a small baking dish.
- In another small bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cream. Add butter pieces.
- Using a fork, cut butter into your dry ingredients until you have a moist, crumbly mixture without much loose flour.
- Divide crumble mixture into two equal portions, and press each portion gently but firmly on top of your pie filling for each apple cup.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Cool slightly, then dig in!
** We ate ours with about 1 tsp Hershey’s caramel sauce drizzled on top — adding 15 calories or so — but you really don’t need it. The crumb topping and the baked apples are perfectly sweet and satisfying by themselves.