More Holiday Recipes: Agave, Honey and other sugar alternatives

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Sugar is not only used to add a sweet taste to a dish. At high temperatures, it will caramelize and turn into a liquid as it heats up. It adds a crisp texture to cookies and acts as a preservative in some products. Because sugar has this many purposes besides adding sweetness, you can’t swap it out for another ingredient. However, you can achieve the same results with a recipe if you reduce the sugar and add a sugar alternative.

We will show you three tasty recipes with agave, honey, and maple syrup, where we’ve either replaced some of the sugar or completely substitute it.

Lemon Meringue Pie With Agave Nectar

Our recipe with agave does not contain any sugar, so let’s get started.

Ingredient list

  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup agave nectar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ lemons, zested and juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 baked pie crust
  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar, or more to taste


  • Add the water, three-quarter cup agave nectar, flour, cornstarch, zest, juice of two and a half lemons, and the salt to a saucepan and whisk together. Bring to a boil and keep boiling until the mixture coats the spoon, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Stir two tablespoons of butter into the mixture until it melts and remove the saucepan from the plate.
  • Temper the egg yolks by whisking them with half a cup of the lemon mixture in a mixing bowl. Set the plate to medium-low heat and place the saucepan on it. Slowly whisk the tempered egg yolks into the rest of the lemon mixture until it’s thickened, between 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon the lemon mixture into the pie crust.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F or 175°C.
  • Use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites with half a teaspoon of lemon juice in a clean bowl until it forms soft peaks. Add two tablespoons of the agave nectar and continue beating until it forms stiff peaks, spoon the egg white mixture over the lemon mixture, and cover every part of the lemon mixture.
  • Bake it in the oven for ten minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.

Baklava with Honey

Honey has a unique flavor and is 25 to 50% sweeter than sugar. Depending on the area where the bees live, the honey will have different colors and flavors; don’t be alarmed by this. Goods baked with sugar browns slower than honey, and any products that you bake with honey will be moist and dense.

Ingredient list

  • 1 pound chopped nuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (16 ounces) package phyllo dough
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F or 175°C. Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Toss the cinnamon and nuts together. Unroll the phyllo dough and cut the whole stack in half so it will fit in the dish. Cover the phyllo dough with a damp cloth while you assemble the baklava.
  • Place two sheets of dough flat in the buttered dish and brush liberally with butter. Sprinkle three tablespoons of the nut mixture over the butter and repeat this until you’ve used all the ingredients. Cut the baklava with a sharp knife into four rows over the dish’s length and nine diagonal lines while you make sure that you cut through all the layers of the dough.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes in the oven until it’s golden brown and crisp.
  • Add the sugar and water into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the honey, vanilla, and lemon zest, then lower the plate’s heat to let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the baked baklava from the oven and spoon the syrup over it. Let it cool down completely before serving it.

Pecan Pie with Maple Syrup

The sap of sugar maple trees is used to make maple syrup. After extracting the sap from the tree, it’s boiled down into a sweet syrup. You’ll find two grades of maple syrup; grade A is golden brown and has a more delicate flavor, while grade B is better for baking since it has a more robust flavor and cost less. Grade B is darker and thicker than grade A.

Ingredient list

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup shortening, chilled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 ½ cups chopped pecans
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Mix the flour and half a teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut half of the shortening into the flour mixture and continue until it forms fine crumbs. Cut the remaining shortening in until it’s forming coarse crumbs. Add one tablespoon of water at a time while you toss it with a fork to form a dough. Roll the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill it for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F or 175°C.
  • Prepare a floured surface and then use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough into an 11-inch circle. Place the dough in a 9-in quiche dish and trim off the edges.
  • Melt two tablespoons butter over low heat in a skillet. Add the nuts and stir until the nuts begin to change color or stir for five minutes. Let the nuts cool for 10 minutes.
  • Mix the beaten egg, maple syrup, sugar, one-third cup melted butter, vanilla, and half teaspoon salt. Stir the nuts into the mixture. Pour this filling into the crust and bake it for between 45 to 50 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack and let it cool down.

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