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Keto Apple Pie Filling Recipe (gluten free)
It is the time of year for all things apple and pumpkin! I have created some pumpkin recipes for you already like my Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars and Pumpkin Pie Muffins but the only keto dessert recipe I have using apples is my Keto Applesauce Bread!
So far I have not created anything with chunks of apples because frankly they are loaded with carbs and it wouldn’t work with just a few.
In order to fit into my low carb diet, my solution to this is to use an apple replacement that has a similar texture, and neutral flavor so that when its cooked up with warm spices, it tastes like apple!
You want to enjoy the flavor and texture of an apple pie filling but still stay on track for your ketogenic diet or low carb lifestyle!
I have heard of many different recipes using chayote squash, but I went with a vegetable that is more common, a zucchini!
At harvest time the one thing that everyone has is a ton of is zucchini! I took a very large zucchini that was given to me and turned it into this delicious low carb apple pie filling that truly tastes like a sweet apple!
I believe the key is to find a larger zucchini if you can so it has less moisture content. Although apples are juicy, they usually are not as wet as a zucchini.
So using zucchini in place of apples helps to easily create the thick sauce that surrounds the pieces in the keto apple pie filling!
Your first step is to peel the zucchini and chop off the ends. As you see here I started out by chopping the large zucchini into large chunks THEN I peeled it.
If you peel it then chop or chop then peel, it doesn’t make too much of a difference. This one in particular was very firm, almost like an acorn squash, so it was easier to peel it secondly.
Now that it is peeled and chopped, scoop out the seeds. Cutting out or scooping out with a spoon is the best way.
Now chop it all up into small pieces that are the size equivalent to a small pea. This size helps to get them fork tender quicker and helps to increase the feel of diced apples.
Once you have them all diced small, add to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with 2 tsp apple pie spice and some sugar substitute. My favorite is an allulose blend.
Having a little of the erythritol in it helps to thicken it up too! If you want a deeper flavor, sub in some keto brown sugar.
I have a recipe to make your own Keto Brown Sugar here if you do not want to spend the money on a premade one!
What should you use if you do not have any apple pie spice?
Well mix all of these together in a small jar and voila you have apple pie spice you can use in a ton of recipes on your keto diet other than this one!
- 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
Now is when I add in 1/4 tsp of apple extract flavoring. Even though it is just a little bit, it adds a secret ingredient flavor that helps push the flavor meter over to as close to real apple flavor as you can get!
This is the one that I use here!
I tried it once without it and you could slightly tell there was something missing, but I couldn’t quite figure it out. THIS is what was missing, the little tiny bit of apple extract flavoring to get it to taste like the real thing!
You can also add in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for flavor but it is not necessary in this recipe.
Usually in apple filling you would add in the lemon juice to prevent browning, but the zucchini doesn’t brown. This recipe in particular doesn’t need the lemon to taste authentic.
Let it sit for a bit and you will notice the zucchini start to sweat and form a syrup with the sweetener like apples do!
Now you will preheat a large skillet and swirl in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. If you want to go dairy free then use coconut oil, or a butter substitute in this step.
Add in the prepared zucchini to the skillet and cook over medium heat until the juices start to bubble up and the pieces become fork tender.
Push the pieces to the side as best as you can so you can thicken up the sauce better.
Now you will add in 1/2 tsp xanthan gum and immediately whisk it to thicken. This helps to keep it gluten free and to create the thick sauce that hugs the pieces like you added wheat flour!
The little bit of xanthan gum goes a long way to thicken, you just have to give it time to simmer a bit.
Then using a spatula, fold it all together to evenly distribute the thickened juice.
Do I really need to get this special ingredient?
Yes, you actually do. It is very important to stay away from starches even if just a little.
Don’t worry if you are thinking, “I will never use the rest of this bag of xanthan gum if I am only using 1/2 tsp!”.
It will not expire for a few years and with my great recipes like my Low Carb Biscuits and Gravy or my Low Carb Skillet Pot Pie and my Low Carb Tot Casserole you will have many more recipes to use it in!
I have also had great success using glucomannan as well. Both thickeners yield a wonderful final product! You can now find xanthan gum at grocery stores in the baking aisle. I have not ever used guar gum though so you can sub that in if you want to but I do not know the needed ratio for its use.
Now that it is thickened up you can go ahead and use it in your recipes! You can put all of the filling into a keto pie crust and add a crumble topping on top of the pie then bake for an outstanding sugar-free apple pie!
This way is amazing with some homemade sugar free whipped cream! Just whip up 1 cup of heavy cream with 1/8 teaspoon of stevia, super simple!
It is the most versatile low carb pie crust that I use often in many ways! Make the crust a dairy-free pie crust simply by subbing in some coconut oil or vegan butter.
No need to worry about a top crust when you put on the crumble top!
The amazing thing about using zucchini instead of apples in your keto apple pie recipe is that it only has 2.4 g carb and 1.5 g net carbs per half a cup versus 8.6 g carbs for the same amount of apples!!
You not only save on carbs but you save on NOT having a blood sugar spike from enjoying a faux apple dessert.
Keto Apple Pie Filling (gluten free)
- 6 cups zucchini; peeled, de-seeded, diced small
- 1 tbsp lemon juice optional but helps with flavor
- 2/3 cup monkfruit/allulose sweetener brand recommended below
- 1/4 tsp stevia powdered or liquid
- 2 tsp apple pie spice see post for recipe to make your own
- 2 tbsp butter vegan butter or coconut oil will work for dairy free
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum can sub in glucomannan, see notes for links
- Peel, de-seed, slice and dice up your zucchini.
- Add zucchini to a large bowl along with the allulose, stevia, lemon juice and apple pie spice.
- Stir well and let it sit for 5 minutes to soak up the sweetener and make a juice from sweating.
- Pre-heat a large 10" skillet and swirl to melt the butter in it.
- Add all of the zucchini to the pan and immediately start stirring.
- Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Push aside the chunks and sprinkle in the xanthan gum.
- Whisk immediately and turn heat down to low.
- Simmer 5 more minutes until thickened.
- For best results, let it sit overnight in the fridge to set up like regular apple filling. You can use it right away if you desire, it may be more runny than if allowed to cool.
- Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
- Long term storage in the freezer up to 2 months. Can be thawed and used as is in recipes.
I recommend putting it all in an airtight container or quart sized jar with a lid and put in the fridge overnight. It will thicken up a ton and will last up to 2 weeks this way. The best results come from a filling that is cooled and thickened up so when it is heated up in baking it will thin out less!
- Add a tablespoon of the keto apple pie filling on top of my favorite muffin batter that I used in my Keto Blueberry Muffins! Just leave out the blueberries and top the batter in each cup with the filling!
- How about topping a scoop of keto vanilla ice cream with the keto apple pie filling and drizzle with a bit of caramel sauce!
- One of my favorite desserts to make with this filling is fried hand pies! I take my fat head dough crust from my Easy Keto Pizza recipe, chill overnight in the fridge and roll out then fill and fry up in a skillet! It works just like a normal pastry dough when you fry it, it comes out like a flaky pie crust that I recall getting at the “Golden Arches” fast food place as a kid of the 80’s! A truly keto friendly apple pie that is on the go!
- If you are feeling adventurous, make the almond pie crust from my Low Carb Cannoli Pie then take the fat head dough and make a lattice top to REALLY bring in the look of most traditional apple pie recipes! Everyone will be impressed with your delicious pie that is also artistically designed! I would urge against using the fat head dough as a bottom crust dough though. It doesn’t set up the same way when its baked versus fried.
- Another way to use this filling is to fold it into some low carb vanilla ice cream that you have let get soft, then re-freeze for a customized frozen treat.
Don’t forget to PIN the recipe card for future reference. Or you can simply print the recipe for later!
You know you are gonna want this one for the upcoming holiday season when pies are all the rage!
You don’t REALLY have to tell anyone that it is a keto mock apple pie recipe, just get them to try a bite! They will love it!
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