Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

October 28, 2011

Halloween is coming

By Curt Oden - Exline correspondent
Daily Iowegian

EXLINE — It is hard to believe it is the end of another month. The month of November is just around the corner.

The recipe for this week is kind of long but it sounds like it would be delicious on a chilly Autumn day.


Caramel Apple Pie


3 c. all-purpose flour

Pinch salt

3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted     butter, cold, cut in chunks

2 eggs separated, (yolks for the pie     crust, whites for the glaze)

3 Tb. ice water, plus more if needed


Caramel Apples:

1 c. sugar, plus 1/4 c. for the top

3 Tb. water

1/4 c. heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla

1 lemon, halved

8 apples (recommended: Granny Smith or Gala)

1 Tb. flour

1 cinnamon stick, freshly grated

1/4 c. unsalted butter


Pie Crust:

To make the pie crust, combine the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in the chunks of cold butter with a pastry blender, a little at a time, until the dough resembles cornmeal. Add the 2 egg yolks and the ice water and blend for a second just to pull the dough together and moisten. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and let it rest in the refrigerator for one hour.

While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.


Caramel Sauce:

To make the caramel sauce: place the sugar and water in a small pot and cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until the sugar has melted and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the burner and add the cream slowly. It may bubble and spit, so be careful. When the sauce has calmed down, return it to the flame, add the vanilla and heat it slowly, until caramel is smooth and continue to slowly cook until reduced by half. Remove from the heat and cool until thickened.

Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze in the lemon juice. Peel the apples with a paring knife, cut them in half, and remove the core with a melon baller. Put the apple halves in the lemon-water (this will keep them from going brown). Toss the apples with the flour and cinnamon.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator, unwrap the plastic and cut the ball in half. Rewrap and return one of the balls to the refrigerator, until ready for the top crust. Let the dough rest on the counter for 15 minutes so it will be pliable enough to roll out. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Carefully roll the dough up onto the pin and lay it inside a 10-inch glass pie pan. Press the dough into the pan so it fits tightly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice a couple of the apples at a time using a very sharp knife. The apples need to be thinly sliced so that as the pie bakes, they collapse on top of each other with no air pockets. This makes a dense, meaty apple pie. Cover the bottom pie crust with a layer of apples, shingling the slices so there are no gaps. Ladle about two ounces of the caramel sauce evenly over the apple slices. Repeat the layers, until the pie is slightly overfilled and domed on the top; the apples will shrink down as the pie cooks. Top the apples with pieces of the butter.

Now roll out the other ball of dough just as you did the first. Brush the bottom lip of the pie crust with a little beaten egg white to form a seal. Place the pie crust on top of the pie, and using some kitchen scissors, trim off the overhanging excess from around the pie. Crimp the edges of dough together with your fingers to make a tight seal. Cut slits in the top of the pie so steam can escape while baking.

Place the pie on a cookie sheet and tent it with a piece of aluminum foil, so the crust does not cook faster than the apples. Bake the caramel apple pie for 25 minutes on the middle rack.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the freshly grated cinnamon. Remove the foil from the pie and brush the top with the remaining egg white. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar and return to the oven. Continue to bake for another 25 minutes, until the pie is golden and bubbling. Let the apple pie rest at room temperature for at least one hour to  set, otherwise the pie will fall apart when you cut into it. This dessert can be served warm, with vanilla ice cream.

With Halloween being celebrated this weekend, it brings back memories of Halloweens of many years ago.  

I grew up in New Jersey in the suburbs. My grandmother lived in the city, in a row house and the people that lived in her neighborhood would begin to give out candy to costumed children in the afternoon. I remember my mom would take us up to my grandmother’s and we would go Trick-or-Treating in her area in the afternoon. Since the houses were so close together, you did not have to walk far to get your treats. In no time, you had a bag full of plunder. You could go back to the house empty it and go out again for more treats.

Then in the evening, around dusk, the people in our neighborhood would begin giving out their treats. I remember some years carrying a pillow case. They would hold a lot of candy and goodies.

In those days of long ago, people would give you homemade popcorn balls and apples. Sometimes we would end up with two or three bowls of apples and within a few days of Halloween, my mom would make a few apple pies.

People in those days, also would give out small bags with Halloween decorations printed on them. Sometimes they would be full of real penny candy and other treats and on some occasions, even some money, like a dime or a quarter. Back then, you could buy a bottle of pop for ten cents and a bunch of different things for a quarter, at the corner store.

In our neighborhood when you would be out going door to door, some people would make you come in their house instead of just giving you some candy right away. I always hated that. They would ask you if they knew you. Most of the time they did not. Then some people would want you to tell a joke or do a trick to get your treat. That was always awkward because I was never prepared for those types of requests. Eventually, after they harassed you for a while they would give you a treat and send you on your way.

In those days, when you got candy bars, they were full size ones. You could buy a good size candy bar then for either a nickel or a larger one for a dime, instead of the little mini one bite candies they sell today, to give out on Halloween.

When you got all of those treats you ate them and never thought of anyone trying to give you bad candy or anything.

You enjoyed the homemade popcorn balls and other goodies that people gave you. But that was about 50 years ago and times sure have changed since then.

On Oct. 22, the Exline Royal Neighbors of America, Camp 3000 observed the National Make a Difference Day. For their observance, they assembled four gift baskets and presented them to deserving women.

One  was presented to a college student and another to a community volunteer. A third basket was given to an organization and the last one was presented to a new resident, Corrine Schoolcraft, who recently moved nto the community.

Last Sunday, there was a nice turn out at the community center for the Fall Smorgasbord Dinner that was served by the Exline Recreation Committee.

A nice gathering of family and friends assembled at the Manhattan Restaurant later that same afternoon. Molly Fenton gave a surprise birthday party for her mom, Jamie Tubaugh. Jamie is the daughter of Jim and Pam Oden.

The family ate their Sunday dinner in the main dining room at the restaurant, as everyone that was invited to the surprise party assembled in the corner room, over looking the outside deck.

Jamie’s husband Jaren, brought her back to that room. She was told a jewelry party was being held back there and as she walked in, a whole room full of people yelled surprise! Then, they sang Happy Birthday as Molly presented a big cake to her mom. Jamie surely was surprised by the event.

Cake was served and everyone got to enjoy visiting for a while. So, it was a nice party.

The Exline Old Country Store and Antique Exchange is celebrating its eighth anniversary this year. The store officially opened Halloween Day, on Oct. 31, 2003. They will be celebrating through Monday, Oct. 31 of this year.

Do not forget that tomorrow evening at the community center the Exline Royal Neighbors of America, Chapter 3000, will be sponsoring  the One Stop, Trick-or-Treat Night. Their members, will be in the building giving out treats to the children that visit during the evening. The event will be held between 6-8 p.m.

If you would still like to give out candy treats yourself to the children on Monday, Oct. 31, which is Halloween, you may put on your outside porch light to let them know they are welcome. Have a Happy Halloween!