Saturday, November 30, 2013

Twice Baked Potato Boats

One of my husbands favorite things to make are these Twice Baked Potato Boats.  Full of flavor, they go great with grilled steak, chicken or pork.  Heck, they make an awesome meal by themselves with just a side salad.  So good.

2-4 large Russet baking potatoes
1 tbls. olive oil
1-2 tsp. Himalayan salt
3 tbls. butter
1 1/2 tsp. course-ground black pepper
1 tsp. Garlic-Herb Medley (we use McCormick's)
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tbls. Bleu cheese (if you don't like bleu cheese, substitute cheddar or parmesan)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees,  Rub potato skins with oil and dust with salt.

Bake 1 hour, or until potatoes are cooked.

Split potatoes lengthwise in half and scoop out cooked potato into a large bowl, reserving potato skins.

Mix cooked potato with all remaining ingredients, then scoop mixture back into reserved potato skins.

Bake for 30 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.  Serve immediately.

These can be made easily on a grill also!  Perfect for camping or RV trips!

Yield: 4-8 (halves)


Monday, November 25, 2013

Lemon Meringue Pie

This recipe came from my Great-Grandmother, Nana Jester, via my Grandmother, Mamie. It's a great made from scratch Lemon Meringue Pie, and the only one we serve in our family.

It's also a favorite of our daughter-in-law, and we have a lot of requests here for "favorites," do you? This one wants Lemon Meringue, another wants Pumpkin, the other Pecan, and another Apple. As is the "norm" here, they all get their favorites.

2 cups sugar
6 tbls. corn starch
pinch salt
2 lemons
2 cups water
4 eggs (I use eggs from a local farm)
1 tbls. butter

1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup lard (can use shortening)
3-4 tbls. cold water (ice water works best)

Crust:  Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour and salt. Add shortening and cut in with pasty blender or fork until it resembles coarse crumbles. Add water and mix with a fork until dough forms a ball, being careful not to overwork dough.

Turn out onto floured board, and roll out into a large circle (big enough to fit into 10" pie pan). Trim excess and crimp edges using the tines of a fork dipped in flour all around the pie pan. Bake in preheated 475 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned; remove from oven and allow to cool.

Filling:  In a large sauce pan, mix together sugar, corn starch and salt. Stir in water, the juice of 2 lemons, and the grated zest (rind) of one lemon. Separate egg yolks (reserving egg whites), beat yolks and add to sauce pan; stir in 1 tbls. butter.

Heat over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until mixture bubbles, begins to softly boil and thickens; continue cooking for one minute.  Pour into cooled pie shell.

Meringue:  In a large mixing bowl, add reserved egg whites and 4 tsp. cold water. Using a mixer, whisk/beat egg whites slowly adding 12 tsp. sugar and continue to whisk/beat until stiff peaks form.
Spoon meringue on top of pie, smoothing to the edges.

Using the back of a spoon, form some peaks with the meringue. Bake in 350 oven 15 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Chill in refrigerator.

Cook's note - If you don't have time to cool the pie shell, you can proceed with adding the filling to the pie shell, topping with meringue and baking.

Yield:  One 10" pie

Also seen on Meal Plan Monday - Thanksgiving Desserts

Also seen on Meal Plan Monday Thanksgiving Edition


© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Southern Home Fries

Simple foods are many times the BEST EVER and this is probably the simplest thing you'll ever make, but so delicious!

You know everyone in your family has a "favorite" and this is my daughter's all-time favorite breakfast food.  Heaven help me if she comes home for a visit and we don't do at least one BIG cooked breakfast.  You know the kind with pancakes, eggs, Southern home fries, sausage gravy & biscuits, bacon (lots of bacon), grits, orange juice, coffee and more! 

A big breakfast is what we typically serve the day after Thanksgiving. Usually those family members who have traveled are heading home, so this is a nice send-off, because everyone leaves with a belly full of yumminess! And if they're not leaving, then hey, this holds them all off until they hit the leftovers that afternoon.

Over the years I've had many friends come over for breakfast so long as I'm serving these Southern Home Fries ...

1 bag - 32 oz. frozen southern hash browns (cubed potatoes) or 4 cups diced, cubed potatoes (use a firm potato such as Red or Yukon gold, not Russet)  *Pro Tip - don't crowd the pan. If you're making a larger batch, cook them one bag at a time.
1 medium onion, diced
4 tbls. butter
2-3 tbls. oil (your preference)
2-3 tsp. Season-All or any seasoned salt (or to taste)
1-2 tsp. course-ground black pepper (or to taste)

In a large electric fry pan (or heavy fry pan with lid), melt butter and oil at 350 degrees.Add frozen potatoes (or fresh, cubed potatoes) and diced onion; stir to coat with butter and oil mixture.  Sprinkle season-all and pepper on top and stir again to evenly mix.

Cover fry pan and cook 3-5 minutes.  Remove lid, allowing condensation from the lid to drip into the pan. Using a spatula, mix around to ensure they are not sticking.  Cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Potatoes should be getting cooked but not mushy.

After about 5 more minutes (cooking time may vary), remove lid and allow potatoes to brown. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and to ensure even cooking/browning, but refrain from stirring too much. You want them to brown and crisp up! Potatoes are done when they are brown and crisped on the outside, and the oil and butter is absorbed. Serve immediately.

Cook's note - Freezes very well. Allow to cool, then bag and freeze. When ready to use them, simply thaw and bake, uncovered in 350 oven until heated through.


© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mexican Bean Soup Mix

Here's another easy gift in a jar to make to give to friends or family for the holidays!  Little ingredients, big flavor = great gift!

Mexican Bean Soup Mix

3/4 cup pinto beans
3/4 cup red kidney beans
1/2 cup white rice
3/4 cup small pasta
Flavor Packet
2 tbls. dried onion flakes (or minced onion)
2 tbls. dried parsley flakes
1 tbls. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
6 tsp. chicken bouillon granules

In a 1 quart mason jar with lid, layer the beans.  In small plastic bags add:  rice to one, small pasta to another and flavor packet ingredients to another (seal each with twist ties) and place in jar.  Add lid and any decorative cloth, rope ties, bows, etc. you 'd like. 

Include a recipe card with the following instructions:

Add beans to heavy 4-5 quart pot with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let sit 1 hour.  Drain beans and return to pot.  Add 8 cups water and contents of flavor packet. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour or until beans are firm tender (time will vary - you want them tender but not mushy).  Stir in rice and continue to simmer until rice is cooked (25-30 minutes).  Stir in pasta and 1/2 cup more water and simmer until pasta is tender (10 minutes).

The soup mix is now ready to eat "as is" for a hearty protein and fiber packed vegetarian version, or add cooked ground beef or shredded cooked chicken if desired.

Yield:  8 cups

There are many, many recipes out there for Soup Mixes in a Jar and more!  Check out these links for more amazing ideas:

Soup Mixes in a Jar Recipes

Cookie Mixes in a Jar Recipes


© Cooking with Mary and Friends Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pork Tenderloin w/Pecan Amaretto Jam

Amazing, quick and easy way to prepare a pork tenderloin.  The end result is moist and tasty.

1 pork tenderloin
1/2 jar Pecan-Amaretto Jam (1/2 cup)
1 tbls. grainy mustard
1 tbls. honey

Mix Pecan-Amaretto Jam, grainy mustard and honey in a small bowl.  Spray a baking/roasting dish with cooking spray and place pork tenderloin in the pan.  Spoon Pecan-Amaretto Jam mixture over pork, reserving some to baste pork with later.

Roast in 350 oven approx. 35-45 minutes or until pork is cooked through.  Baste with additional Pecan-Amaretto Jam part way through roasting time.


Callie's Classic Buttermilk Biscuits

A recipe review from the cookbook Callie's Biscuits and Southern Traditions.

I love biscuits, but to be honest, this "northern gal" couldn't make a biscuit to save her life. I made awesome "hockey pucks" you could sling across the floor, but never the soft and flaky kind I saw in cookbooks and magazines.

Luckily for my family, over the years I did learn how to make biscuits, simply because I refused to give up ... and I tried all kinds of recipes. Along the way, I learned several things; do not over-work the dough and always use self-rising flour and buttermilk. These are key to great biscuits.

Callie's Classic Buttermilk Biscuits are light, fluffy and full of flavor, and the addition of the cream cheese makes them super-yummy. They are also very easy to make ... take a look ...

2 cups self-rising flour
5 tbls. butter, divided
1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 500. In a large mixing bowl add self-rising flour, 4 tbls. butter cut into small pieces and the cream cheese. Using your hands, cut in the butter and cream cheese until flour is crumbled.

Make a well in the middle and add the buttermilk. Continue to mix with your hands until a soft dough forms. The dough will be wet and shaggy.

Dust top of dough with more flour, and using a rubber spatula around the sides of the bowl, remove dough to a lightly floured board. 

Dust again with flour, roll out into an oval 1/2" thick and cut biscuits with 2" round biscuit cutter.

Place each on a rimmed baking sheet, with the biscuits touching each other.
Melt remaining 1 tbls. butter and brush tops of biscuits.

Place in oven and immediately reduce heat to 450. Bake 16-18 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned on top.

I split and buttered one and topped it with my Caramel-Apple Jam!  Oh wow! Then I made a Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit ... heaven!

Disclaimer: The cookbook in this post was provided by Callie's Biscuits. All opinions are my own.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Spiced Pecans

There are a ton of recipes out there for Spiced Pecans, but this is one of my favorites, and the first of several posts I'm doing for "gifts in jars" for the holidays!  They are spicy and sweet with a little "kick" of heat!  Bring them as a hostess gift, or use them as an addition to any party or gathering as a little something to snack on. And you know pecans are good for you too!  They will keep several weeks in a well-sealed mason jar, or a few months stored in a zip-top bag in your freezer. Then simply grab out a bag when you want some.


1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided          
1/2 tsp. cayenne (or 1 tsp. if you want them very spicy) 
1 tsp. each ground white pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice     
4 cups pecan halves (about 12 oz.)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup regular maple syrup   

Heat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, toss together 1 tsp. salt, cayenne, white pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Add the pecans and toss well. Drizzle the melted butter over the pecans and mix well. Turn out onto a rimmed baking sheet, sprayed with cooking spray, scraping any spices and butter from the bowl and spreading the nuts into one layer.

Bake until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Remove from oven, drizzle the maple syrup over the nuts, stir to combine, and return to oven to bake about 10 minutes longer, until the nuts turn glossy and slightly dark.

Remove from oven and stir slightly;  let the nuts cool in the pan for 30 minutes and then scrape the nuts and any maple drippings into a bowl; break up any large clusters. Serve immediately dusted with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt (if desired).

Store in mason jars or place in zip-top bags and freeze.

Yield:  4 cups

Disclaimer: The samples in this post were provided by Schermer Pecans. All opinions are my own.

Health benefits of Pecans


© Cooking with Mary and Friends Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"Kicked-Up" Cheeseburger Soup

While we love Cheeseburger Soup the regular way, with mild cheeses blended in, we also love it with just a little bit of heat.  This recipe incorporates the usual cheese with some Jalapeno-Jack cheese for a "twist" on the norm. 

1 lb. ground beef
¾ cup chopped onion
¾ cup shredded carrots
¾ cup diced celery
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or red pepper flakes)
4 tablespoons butter
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups peeled and diced potatoes (or frozen cubed potatoes)
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup Jalapeno-Jack cheese, cubed
1 1/2 cups milk
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ to ½ tsp. course-ground black pepper
¼ cup sour cream
Toppings:  shredded cheddar cheese and bacon crumbles (optional)

Brown the ground beef in 3 quart saucepan. Drain and set aside.

In the same saucepan add butter, onion, shredded carrots, parsley flakes, oregano, cayenne and celery; saute' until tender and stir in flour.

Add the broth, potatoes and beef and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Reduce heat to low. Stir in the cheeses, milk, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts.

Remove from heat and blend in sour cream. Serve immediately topped with shredded cheddar cheese and bacon crumbles if desired.

Servings:  6-8


© Cooking with Mary and Friends Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

New England Bread and Sausage Stuffing

It wouldn't be Thanksgiving in our house without this New England Bread and Sausage Stuffing. My mother made it as long as I can remember, and one of the first things I made when I got married was this stuffing. What makes it so unique from other bread stuffings is the addition of sausage. The sausage gives  it great flavor and helps keep it moist! It's delicious!

From left, grandson, Nic, nephew, Jacob and grandson, Ethan mixing it up
The smells and the taste bring me right back to her kitchen when I was a little girl! And the way she told me to tell if it was "made right" was to smell it!  That's right, smell it!  It should smell like poultry seasoning and onion. To this day my daughter, son and grandsons all smell it to make sure it's "right!"


1 1/2 - 2 large loaves soft sandwich bread, torn into pieces (I also use leftover hamburger or hot dog buns, whatever I have on hand)
1 stick butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 cups chicken stock (or giblet water if cooking the giblets for Giblet Gravy)
1 lb. sage or plain sausage meat
1 large onion, diced
4 tsp. poultry seasoning 
Salt and pepper to taste
Drippings from turkey/chicken (if desired)

Tear bread into pieces in a large bowl. Break up sausage and add to bowl.  Toss in all other ingredients and mix with your hands until well combined.

The mixture should be slightly "wet" and loose (add more chicken stock if needed).

Spoon stuffing into a large 13 x 9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray, and bake covered in a 350 oven for 30 minutes; uncover, stir up with a large spoon, and bake 15 minutes more or until browned. During the baking time you can add some drippings from the chicken or turkey if desired.

Serve hot with gravy!

Yield:  13 x 9-inch baking pan

Also seen on Meal Plan Monday Thanksgiving Edition


© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Homemade Pizza Sauce

This recipe uses fresh tomato sauce you cook from garden fresh tomatoes.  It's a wonderful pizza sauce, with a ton of flavor only achieved from fresh "home grown" or farmer's market tomatoes.  Nothing beats it for taste!

5 cups fresh tomato sauce (see here on how to cook your own)
1 small onion, minced
3-4 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. course-ground black pepper
1/2 tbls. sugar
1/2 tbls. parsley
1 tbls. oregano
1/2 tbls. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
2 tbls. lemon juice, divided

Mix all ingredients, except lemon juice, in a large sauce pan and cook over medium to medium-low heat until sauce reduces by half and thickens (this will take 1 hour or so).

Once thickened to your liking, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour into blender, or use immersion blender, and blend mixture until smooth. 

Pour or ladle pizza sauce into 4 half-pint (8 oz) canning jars, adding 1/2 tbls. lemon juice to each jar, leaving 1/2" head space. 

Process jars in boiling water for 35 minutes. Remove from heat, remove jars and allow to cool on a kitchen towel on your counter-top.

Jars are sealed when button in the middle of the lid depresses completely.

Yield:  4 half-pint (8 oz) jars

*Cook's note - use when you make Pizza at Home, or as a dip with fried mozzarella cheese sticks, garlic-cheese bread bread and more.


Homemade Pasta Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes

With a little work, you too can have "fresh from the garden" Pasta Sauce for your family!  It's fairly simple to do, and tastes delicious!  Once you make it, you'll wonder why you never did before. Superior tomato taste and flavor you can only get from fresh tomatoes (grown yourself, or purchased at your local farm or farmer's market).

12 cups fresh tomato sauce (puree) - see here for making your own
6 large Roma tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
12 tsp. Oregano, divided
12 tsp. minced garlic, divided
6 tbls. lemon juice, divided

In 6 pint canning jars, add to each jar: 1 diced tomato, a portion of the diced onion, 2 tsp. oregano, 2 tsp. minced garlic and 1 tbls. lemon juice.

Or in 3 quart canning jars, add to each jar:  2 diced tomatoes, a portion of the diced onion, 4 tsp. oregano, 4 tsp. minced garlic and 2 tbls. lemon juice.

Ladle hot tomato sauce (puree), over contents in each jar leaving 1/2" head space and stir to combine contents.

Cover jars with lids and rings and process in boiling water bath 35 minutes. Remove from heat, and remove jars, allowing them to cool on a kitchen towel on your counter-top.

Once jars have sealed, shake slightly to evenly distribute contents in each jar.

Yield:  6 pint jars or 3 quart jars

*Cook's note - When ready to use, open jar and heat in sauce pan. Add browned ground beef or Italian sausage, if desired, or serve meatless; the choice is yours.  Additional options include diced bell pepper and mushrooms. This is also a delicious sauce for Eggplant, Chicken or Veal Parmesan.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pecan Amaretto Jam

I was on a mission of sorts to try to make a pecan jam.  There are little to no recipes out there ... oh there are some for Pecan Pie Filling, but I really wanted a "jam" I didn't need to add anything to when I opened the jar.  This came out just right with a hint of Amaretto.  Serve over pancakes or waffles, top on biscuits or scones, vanilla ice-cream, cheesecake, or anything you like.  Could even be used as a filling between cake layers. It's spicy, sweet and totally yummy!


5 cups chopped pecans (I used Schermer Pecan pieces)
1/2 lb. butter (2 sticks)
2 cups apple juice
3 tbls. apple cider vinegar
1 box Sure-Jell (instant pectin)
5 cups white sugar
5 tbls. dark brown sugar
2 tbls. ground ginger
1 tbls. ground cinnamon
4 tbls. Amaretto liqueur

In a large stainless steel or enamel pot melt the butter over medium heat with apple juice and vinegar; add pecans and Sure-Jell and bring to a rolling boil. Mix spices with sugars and add all at once to pot; return to a rolling boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and carefully add the Amaretto, stirring until combined.

*Ladle jam into sterile hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head space (see note below). Process jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.  Remove jars and let cool on a kitchen towel on your counter-top. 

Jars are sealed when button on lid depresses completely (you will hear it “pop” or “ping” when it seals).  As jam cools, gently shake jars from time to time to evenly distribute the pecan pieces in the jam (this may take a few hours as it cools and thickens).

*Cook's note - to evenly distribute pecans to liquid, use a slotted spoon to add pecans to jars, then ladle sauce over pecans leaving a 1/4 inch head-space.

*In accordance with safe canning practices, this jam must be kept in the refrigerator and is not considered shelf-stable. This jam will keep several months in the refrigerator.

*Great gift idea for the holidays!

Yield:  9 half-pint jars

Disclaimer: The samples in this post were provided by Schermer Pecans. All opinions are my own.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie

Yep, you read that right!  Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie ... so yummy!  Perfect comfort food!  The filling is so good it could be served as a hearty soup.  Best yet, it can be made ahead and refrigerated a day or two, or even frozen. Simply top with crust when ready to bake.

4 cups chicken stock (make your own)
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken (I used the meat from the chicken carcass I cooked for stock)
4 tbls. butter
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup green beans
1 cup niblet corn
2 cups frozen, cubed potatoes (or use fresh peeled and cubed potatoes)
2 tbls. chicken bouillon granules (or 2 bouillon cubes)
2 tsp. thyme leaves
2 tsp. parsley flakes
1/3-1/2 cup flour
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup shortening
1/4 tsp. salt
3-4 tbls. cold water
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cut shortening into flour/salt mixture until it resembles course crumbs; add 1/2 cup cheese and water and stir until dough forms a ball. Roll dough out into a rectangle on lightly floured board.

Melt butter in large pot; add onions and celery and saute' a couple of minutes; add carrots and continue to cook a few more minutes. Add chicken bouillon and flour stirring to coat vegetables; stir in chicken stock slowly and stir to combine (you may need to whisk it in some).  Add thyme leaves, parsley flakes, potatoes and chicken and cook 10 minutes over med-high heat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add green beans and corn and continue to cook until heated through and mixture begins to boil slightly, stirring often to prevent sticking.  Adjust all seasonings again to taste and stir in 1 cup shredded cheese just until melted.  Remove pot from heat and pour into prepared 13" x 9" pan. Top with pie crust prepared above, and bake in preheated 450 oven for 15 minutes; reduce heat and continue to cook 30 more minutes, or until crust is browned and pot pie bubbly.

Cook's note - Filling will bubble up some over the crust.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Deep Dish Apple Pie

This is an old recipe for an easy, traditional Deep Dish Apple Pie!  I remember many times watching my mother make this.  She always added more cinnamon, because we all loved it, and never used the cornstarch to thicken it as my father liked it very juicy, but feel free to add the cornstarch if you would like the filling to be "thicker."  It's perfect for the holidays and is always on my Thanksgiving table.

(makes 2 - 10” pie crusts)
2 2/3 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
7-8 tablespoons cold water (ice cold works best)

In a large bowl, mix flour with salt and cut in shortening with a pastry knife or back of a fork until crumbly.

Add cold water all at once and stir until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half.

Sprinkle flour on counter and using a rolling pin dusted with flour to prevent sticking, roll out one dough ball large enough to overlap pie pan.

Transfer to pie pan and even up crust as you go around pie pan.

6-8 large, crisp apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
1 ½ cups sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
dash nutmeg
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice

Place apples evenly in prepared pie crust; sprinkle lemon juice over apples to keep from browning.

Mix sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch (if using), and nutmeg in a bowl, and sprinkle evenly over apples. Top with remaining pie crust using procedure above.

Crimp edges of crusts together by dipping the back of a fork in flour and pressing around border of pie pan.

Cut slits in top of crust with sharp knife to allow steam to escape during baking time. Brush top of crust with milk if desired for more even browning.

Place pie pan on rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 450 for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 and
continue baking 45 minutes more or until crust is brown and apples are bubbly.

Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream if desired.

Yield: One 10" deep dish pie
Cook's Note - Unbaked pie can be wrapped and frozen for cooking another time. I almost always make this pie several weeks in advance, freeze it, then bake it when I need it.