Save time by making pie dough and fillings ahead and storing in the fridge overnight. Pie dough can even be made weeks ahead, frozen and then defrosted in the fridge the night before.
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.
Keep in mind that one pie generally serves eight people.
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.
Use your eyes and senses to test for doneness. 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.
Oven temperatures can be off by 25 degrees F and more, so buy an inexpensive oven thermometer to make sure you're at the right heat.
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.