Do you struggle with acid sensitivity? Has it taken away some of your favorite desserts, like pie? Obviously, we must avoid citrus (i.e. lemon or lime) but you can certainly enjoy many other pies with abandon! It’s National Pie Day! I say we enjoy it with a hot slice of apple pie topped, of course, with ice cream!

What flavor of pies are lower in acid? A LOT!

  • Apple pie made with low acid Gala or Fuji Apples
  • Fresh pear pie
  • Custard Pie – usually vanilla or caramel
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Sweet Potato Pie
  • Pecan Pie

Is store-bought safe?

You have to be careful with pre-made pies produced by national manufacturers and sold at a variety of stores (i.e. Costco, etc.). Not only are they usually overly sweetened, many use citric acid or lemon juice as a preservative. If you happen to have a bakery nearby that makes them fresh each day, go for it!  Homemade, of course, is always the best option because you have total control over the ingredients and can adjust recipes accordingly.

Traditional Apple Pie

I’m the pie maker in my family and I love the many varieties you can make: traditional bottom crust, 2 crust, top crust only. If you don’t like making crust, you can always do an apple cobbler instead. It tastes the same yet is much easier to make. Of course, you can also throw in different toppings (i.e. dutch crunch) or even a layer of caramel at the bottom of the pie. Ultimately, though, it begins with a very simple recipe. I’ve used the simple Betty Crocker Apple Pie recipe for many years which I have adapted over time to create a truly low acid pie!  Did you know that non-organic apples contain high levels of pesticides and fungicides? I  make it a rule to always buy organic Fuji or Gala apples. For the crust, I prefer to use either butter or coconut oil shortening, as well as organic all purpose flour! Then it gets fun because you can roll out crust and play with designs! A quick glance at any good cookbook will show you lots of different options for both the edges of the pie and the top crust.


 cups organic, all purpose flour
teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening (I prefer coconut oil)
4 to 6 tablespoons cold water

 cup sugar
1/4 cup organic, all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 cups thinly sliced peeled organic low acid apples (Gala, Fuji)
2 tablespoons butter

Heat oven to 425°F.  In a bowl, mix 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Add shortening and then use  a pastry blender, knife or even two forks, until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until the pastry is moistened but NOT sticky!

Gather pastry into a ball. Divide in half; shape into 2 flattened rounds on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.

With floured rolling pin, roll one pastry round into round 2 inches larger than your pie plate (preferably 9″). Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.

In large bowl, mix sugar, 1/4 cup flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir in apples. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate.

Roll other round of pastry. Fold into fourths and cut slits so steam can escape. Unfold top pastry over filling; trim overhanging edge 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute as desired. Cover edge with 3-inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. Serve warm and top with vanilla ice cream! Enjoy!