No successful recipe for making crusts for those on low-fat diets

Cooking Q&A

April 12, 2006|By DONNA PIERCE | DONNA PIERCE,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Because I am on a restricted diet, can you provide me with a low-fat recipe for a pastry crust?

You're not alone in your quest for a low-fat crust, but a good one is hard to find.

"There is no successful low-fat recipe," said Barbara Farner, extension educator in nutrition and wellness at the University of Illinois Extension. "Crisp roll-out cookies and piecrusts are two dishes without successful low-fat alternatives."

Farner offered these suggestions for those on restricted diets:

Select an oil-based piecrust recipe that uses the more healthful canola or olive oil. Such recipes would contain the same amount of fat, but they would contain less saturated fat.

Switch to a graham-cracker crust, which requires less fat than that found in a traditional pastry crust.

Omit the top crust and bake a single-crust pie.

Please give me advice about replacing other ingredients with applesauce in baked goods.

Applesauce often is used to replace fat in baked goods, but substituting it in recipes can be tricky, writes Sarah Phillips in Baking 9-1-1. It's easiest, she writes, to substitute it in baked goods that use oil, not butter. Candidates include many quick breads, muffins or some cakes, such as carrot cake.

"When a recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, substitute 3/4 cup applesauce," she writes. "Also add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for better flavor and mouth feel."

She cautions that you also may need to use additional flavoring, some baking soda to offset the acidic applesauce, and a high-gluten flour. Try experimenting with a few favorite recipes to find the formula that works best for you.

Donna Pierce writes for the Chicago Tribune.

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