1. Do not thaw the pie in advance. (This will make the crust soggy.)
2. Have a lower rack and middle rack in place, and preheat oven to 425F (225C.)
3. You can “wash” the top of your pie to give it a nice golden brown color when baked:
4. Sprinkle approx. a teaspoon of sugar on top of your pie. This gives your pie a nice rustic look and makes the top crust flakier.
5. To protect the beautiful crimping of your pie (the outside edges) from burning, you can make a simple crust shield while your oven is preheating. Here is how:
6. Put the pie in, directly from the freezer, on the lower rack for 20 min at 425F. This will cook the bottom crust.
7. Keep the pie on the bottom rack, and reduce the oven to 325–350. Bake for another 30 to 45 minutes. (This is to finish the top crust so keep an eye out — you want the top pastry to look “almost” done.) CHECK ON YOUR PIE! If your oven does not bake evenly, move it to a different spot on the rack. Your pie will be done when the juices are starting to bubble (but not flowing!) from the top pastry and the top is golden brown.
8. Remove the pie from the oven and set on a rack to cool. This will take about an hour. When, as in our case when Her Majesty the Queen is ESPECIALLY impatient, you can fan the pie lightly by an open window to cut down the cooling time. Watch out for the crowd you will draw to your door, neighbours “just dropping in” or passers-by “asking directions! And watch for squirrels, racoons, kittens, black labs and others: all creatures, big and small, love a great pie!