OH-Blog Logo
healthy holiday desserts

Our Favorite Holiday Desserts, a Little Lighter

Discover a healthier way to bake pumpkin and apple pies, plus a bonus brunch recipe!

Pumpkin Pie Slimmed


• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup cake flour
• 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
• 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter (1/2 stick), diced
• 1 large egg white
• 1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
• 2 tablespoons ice water, plus more as needed
• Vegetable cooking spray

• 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
• 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated skim milk
• 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
• 2 tablespoons dark rum
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon fine salt


1. To make the crust: In a food processor, pulse the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse the mixture until it resembles cornmeal mixed with pea-sized bits of butter, about 10 times. Add the egg white, vinegar, and water, and pulse 1 or 2 times; don’t let the dough form into a ball in the machine. (If the dough is very dry add a couple of teaspoons of cold water.) Remove the bowl from the machine, remove the blade, and bring the dough together by hand. Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

2. Lightly spray a 9-inch pie pan with oil. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a thin disk, about 13 inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to the prepared pie pan and trim the edges, leaving about 1 inch hanging over the edge. Tuck the overhanging dough underneath itself to form an edge even with the rim. Flute the edge as desired. Freeze the crust for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line the crust with foil and fill with pie weights (or dried beans). Bake on the center rack until firm and just cooked, about 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F. Lift the foil to remove the beans, return crust to the oven, and bake until golden, about 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin, evaporated milk, brown sugar, eggs, orange zest, and rum. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Sift the dry ingredients over the pumpkin mixture and whisk until thoroughly blended.

5. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake until the filling is just set but not cracked, about 1 hour. Cool on a rack, serve warm or at room temperature.

Tip: To further slim the recipe, cut pie into 10 or 12 pieces instead of 8.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Serves: 8. Calories: 265. Fat: 7 grams. Saturated fat: 4 grams. Protein: 8 grams. Carbohydrate: 41 grams. Fiber: 2 grams. Sodium: 242 milligrams. Sugar: 23 grams.

Source: Food Network

Double-Crust Apple Pie


• 10.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 cups)
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/8 teaspoon salt
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
• 3 tablespoons vegan shortening (such as Earth Balance), chilled
• 2 teaspoons white vinegar
• 6 tablespoons ice water

• 6 cups (1/8-inch-thick) slices peeled apple
• 1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
• 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• Baking spray with flour
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
• 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
• 2 teaspoons granulated sugar


1. To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and process to combine. Cut butter and shortening into 1/2-inch pieces; add to processor bowl. Pulse 2 to 3 times or until butter is about the size of dried peas. Sprinkle vinegar and ice water over mixture. Pulse 2 to 3 times or until mixture resembles coarse sand.

2. Scrape mixture onto a lightly floured work surface. Press mixture into a ball; divide into 2 equal pieces. Press each half into a 4-inch disk. Cover each disk with plastic wrap, and chill 30 minutes. (The dough can be made 1 day ahead. If it’s chilled for 24 hours, let it stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling.)

3. Preheat oven to 425 F.

4. To prepare filling, place apples and juice in a large bowl; toss to coat. Combine brown sugar and next 5 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt) in a small bowl. Sprinkle apples with brown sugar mixture; toss well to combine.

5. Unwrap 1 dough disk, and place on a lightly floured work surface. Roll to an 11-inch circle. Place into a 9-inch pie plate lightly coated with baking spray. Pour filling into prepared pie plate (dish will be very full). Arrange diced butter on top of filling. Roll remaining half of dough into a 10-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on top of pie; fold edges under, and flute decoratively. Cut slits in top of dough to allow steam to escape. Lightly brush top of dough with egg white. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.

6. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Bake an additional 1 hour or until golden and bubbly. Shield edges of pie with foil if necessary. Place pie on a wire rack; cool completely before slicing.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Serves: 10. Calories: 264. Fat: 10 grams. Saturated fat: 5 grams. Protein: 4 grams. Carbohydrate: 29 grams. Fiber: 2 grams. Sodium: 178 milligrams.

Source: Cooking Light

Maple-Walnut Cranberry Pie


• 1/2 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
• Cooking spray
• 1/2 cup maple syrup
• 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
• 2 tablespoons butter, melted
• 2 teaspoons cornstarch
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
• 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted


1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

2. Roll dough into an 11-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under; flute. Line bottom of dough with a piece of foil; arrange pie weights or dried beans on foil. Bake at 425 F for 5 minutes. Remove pie weights and foil; bake 1 minute. Cool on a wire rack.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F.

4. Combine maple syrup and next 6 ingredients (through eggs) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gently stir in cranberries and walnuts. Pour cranberry mixture into prepared crust. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until filling is just set, shielding edges of piecrust with foil after 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Serves: 10. Calories: 287. Fat: 15 grams. Saturated fat: 4 grams. Protein: 4 grams. Carbohydrate: 37 grams. Fiber: 2 grams. Sodium: 210 milligrams.

Source: Cooking Light

Souffléed Apple Pancake


• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 1/2 cup skim milk
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 baking apples (1 pound), peeled and cut into 8 wedges each and the wedges cut in half
• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
• 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
• Maple syrup, for serving (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 500 F. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar and salt. Gradually mix in the milk, eggs and 1 tablespoon of oil.

2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet. Spread the apples in the pan, add the lemon juice and cinnamon and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

3.Strain the batter through a sieve over the apples, pressing with a spatula. Bake the pancake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges are puffed and browned and the center is set. Serve immediately, with maple syrup.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Serves: 4. Calories: 229. Fat: 10 grams. Saturated fat: 1 gram. Protein: 6 grams. Carbohydrate: 31 grams. Fiber: 3 grams. Sodium: 130 milligrams.

Source: Food & Wine