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Recently our book club read and reviewed ‘Tallgrass’ by Sandra Dallas, a historical novel that addresses the life and times of the small Colorado town and the controversial internment camp that divided the townspeople.  It was an great book and spurred an excellent discussion.  We all agreed that Sandra Dallas, who lives in Colorado and has family ties to Iowa, has an excellent voice for her characters.

TALL GRASS by Sandra Dallas

Our book club always begins our gathering with a wonderful potluck typically with a theme associated with book. This evening we enjoyed sushi, edemame salad, fried rice, salads, fruit and much more. After brainstorming with my book club buddies, I decided to make an Old Fashioned Apple Pie in honor of Mary Stroud, a key character in the book.

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My favorite Apple Pie is, again, from one my all-time favorite cookbooks. I must confess that I don’t make my own pie crust.  I think the Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts are excellent and I’d rather spend time on the good part…the filling!

As I was making this pie and cutting the vents for the top crust, I couldn’t help but think of my Mother and the hundreds, if not thousands, of pies that she baked over the years. I carry on her vent design, simple but effective.

The pie is excellent on its own but always wonderful topped with vanilla bean ice cream, too!

OLD FASHIONED APPLE PIE

Pastry for 2 crust pie
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons flour
dash salt
6 cups thinly sliced, pared tart cooking apples
2 tablespoons butter

  • On lightly floured surface, roll out half of pastry into an 11 inch circle. Use to line 9 inch pie plate, trim. Refrigerate, with rest of pastry until ready to use.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, flour and salt, mixing well. Add to apples in large bowl, tossing lightly to combine.

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  • Turn into pastry-lined pie plate, mounding high in center; dot with butter.

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  • Roll out remaining pastry into an 11 inch circle. Make several slits near center for steam vents; adjust over filling; trim.

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  • Fold edge of top crust under bottom crust; press together with fingertips. Crimp edge decoratively.
  • Bake 45-50 minutes, or until apples are tender and crust is golden-brown.
  • Cool partially on wire rack; serve warm.
  • Optional:  Top with vanilla bean ice cream.

Recipe from:  McCall’s Cook Book, 1963

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