1. Save time by making pie dough and fillings ahead and storing in the fridge overnight.
2. Pumpkin and other custard-style pies are done when they still jiggle slightly in the middle. Fruit pies are done when the pastry is golden, the juices bubble and fruit is tender.
3. Make sure all ingredients for your pie dough are cold before you start. For best results, make it the day before you plan to roll it out.
4. Make pumpkin pies two days in advance. Wait until the day before Thanksgiving to make apple and pecan pies or the crusts will get soggy.
5. Get kids involved. Results may not always be picture-perfect, but the process itself will be much sweeter.
6. Jazz up your desserts with special ingredients. Real vanilla beans, premium liquors, homemade whipped cream, fresh pumpkin purees and heirloom apples add pizzazz to sweet treats.
7. Keep in mind that one pie generally serves eight people.
8. Oven temperatures can be off by 25 degrees or more, so buy an inexpensive oven thermometer to make sure you're at the right heat.