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New McDonald's naturally sweet apple pie bakes up bitter controversy

New McDonald's naturally sweet apple pie bakes up bitter controversy

Drive-Thru Gourmet - mcDonald's apple pie
Many fans of the Golden Arches aren't happy with the new (old) pastry.  Photo via mcdonalds.com

This week, I reached out for a new (sort of) and improved (depends) apple pie from America's top burger barn, McDonald's, with 14,000 restaurants across the Great Experiment.

The re-tooled Apple Pie, less sweet with fewer ingredients, is part of McDonald's health kick attempt: real butter in its breakfast sandwiches, no artificial preservatives in Chicken McNuggets, and fresh beef in Quarter Pounders. All good, all should be commended.

But what price healthier, more natural? Some veteran McDonald's regulars are griping ... why mess with much loved and perfectly fine? 

Here's the new Apple Pie breakdown: sugar, 100-percent U.S.-grown apples and cinnamon freshly baked under a lattice crust, sprinkled with sugar.

Total calories: 240. Fat grams: 11. Sodium: 95 mg. Carbs: 35 g. Dietary fiber: 4 g. Protein: 2 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: 99 cents.

My McDonald's on Kirby is selling Apple Pie for 89 cents each, two for $1.39. Let's go grab a couple (I'll pay for the second one).

The thing is, people will always squawk about change, even if the new version is a better product, which I believe is the case here. McDonald's new Apple Pie is noticeably less sweet. If you want a super-sweet, sugar-slathered, lunchbox apple pie, try a Hostess snack at your corner convenience store.

McDonald's slices six kinds of apples for its new-style pie: Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Rome, Gala, Ida Red, and Fuji. The pie filling is pretty chunky, the way I like it. There's more natural apple flavor, less mouth-popping sugar. Smart move, letting apples carry the day. The pies are freshly baked throughout the day and served warm. 

The new pie has a touch of cinnamon in the filling, the old pie had the cinnamon up top. Way better now. It took them how long to figure this out?

McDonald's whiners should know: This isn't the first time that the Golden Arches has tinkered with its apple pie. Introduced in 1968, McDonald's apple pie was deep-fried until 1992, when they shifted to baking the popular dessert. 

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Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know in the comments or on Twitter