Thursday, October 18, 2012

Portion Control

As all healthy eaters know, portion control is of the utmost importance for both losing weight and maintaining it.  But portion control has also come to mean cooking a bit differently around the Helen household.  We just don't eat as much as we used to and as I am loathe to throw anything away, there are actually some dishes that I don't make anymore, unless we're having company, as the recipe just makes too much.  I feel that way about a lot of our dessert recipes, yet I prefer to make our desserts when we do have them as I know each ingredient that goes into it and don't have to worry about unhealthy fats, chemicals, and preservatives.

I was given a huge bag of freshly picked apples last week and naturally my mind went to apple pie.  It's something that we have as treat only about once a year or so.  The problem is that a whole apple pie is just too much for the two of us. That got me thinking of how I could make individual apple pies.  As I looked in my cupboard, I saw my  5 oz. ramekins and thought that would be the perfect size.  I figured someone else had already done this so why reinvent the wheel and I went to Googling.  Sure enough I found a recipe that I adapted a bit and we had delicious dessert in a portion controlled size!

Individual Apple Pies for Two

Pie Dough:  use your favorite recipe or buy the refrigerated type.  You'll need dough for 1 crust ( and you will have leftover).

Apple Filling:
2 medium apples, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tablespoon flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
dash of salt
1/4 cup sugar (Adjust according to type of apples being used.  Sweeter apples would need less.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll your pie crust out to a 10" circle.  Using a 5 oz. ramekin, press it 4 times into the dough leaving space around each circle.

Cut out 2 of the circles exactly as sized and put into bottom of ramekin.  The dough will come up the side a bit creating a little cup.

Put ramekins on a cookie sheet and place in the preheated oven.  Cook for 10 minutes then take out of oven to cool  The crust will not be golden, you're just pre-cooking it a bit. Set aside to cool.

In the meantime, prep your filling.  Chop apples and put into large bowl, toss with lemon juice.  In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar.  Sprinkle over apples and mix well.  Put apple mixture into ramekins on top of crust.  It will be heaping.

Cut out your other two dough circles but this time go about a half inch outside the circle shape.  Put dough on top of apple mixture and crimp around the edges to make a top crust.  Cut a slit in the top to allow steam to escape.

Put back in oven and bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until top crust is lovely and golden.  Serve warm with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or a slice of sharp cheddar. Delicious!

I enjoyed this method so much that I will use it again next time we want pie.  There was actually enough dough left to make one more pie so next time I'll probably do that.  While 8 pieces of pie might be too much, Mr. Helen wouldn't have minded if one of these little pies was left over.


  1. Sweet! Love it - great idea to have your, pie, and eat it, too!

    1. I think you should make Jeff one this weekend ;)

  2. Jummy! Looks delicious!

    Over the years I've become very creative with adjusting recipes from 4 to 2. I don't like leftovers and always try to make enough for just the 2 of us and I'm pretty good at it too. But apple pie: that's the whole deal here because R. loves my apple pie and he eats most of it.

  3. Oh YUM!!!! Love the little hearts too! thanks for sharing Helen. Dennis will be thanking you too when/if I make them, he LOVES apple pie. Have a great Thursday.

  4. Yum! The 5 ounce ramekin - I have some that have a line like that in them that hold 4 ounces to that line, but can fill up to 5. Is that the type you have?

    1. I had to pull one out and measure - mine actually holds 6 oz when I poured water even to the top so I'm guessing it was 5 oz to that line inside.

  5. Very cute pies Helen. The heart cut out is adorable! Cooked apples are the best flavor - yum! These days I only bake when I know I can send the leftovers home with someone else or if I am taking it to someone's house. It's just too tempting to have sweets around. This is a perfect idea.

    1. Well that's just it, sometimes we want a little something, not a whole cake or pie!

  6. When I saw these on Facebook I may have drooled just a little bit. Apple pie is about my favorite pie.

    My Dad used the shred cheddar cheese in his pie crust when he made apple pie - I thought it was gross when I was growing up, but the salty/sweet combo is amazeballs.

    I am with you on smaller portions - now Tony and I can split half a chicken breast or a steak and its perfect.

  7. I love individual sized desserts. It keeps me from eating too much!