Before you pop that pumpkin pie into the oven you'll want to learn these three common mistakes that could ruin Thanksgiving dessert.

Chef Kristin Egan from the Culinary Institute of America dropped by our studios this week to share her tips for making the perfect pumpkin pie. For those of you who are brave enough to construct your own instead of stopping by the bakery on Wednesday afternoon there are a few simple things you can do to elevate that pie into a masterpiece that will "wow" your Thanksgiving guests.

Don't overcook
It's kind of hard to tell when pumpkin pie is done. If you follow the directions on that can of pie mix you'll usually open the oven and think that the pie isn't quite done yet. It's probably just fine. Chef Egan explains that the pie should still "jiggle" a little bit. If you shake the pan and it looks watery then bake it some more, otherwise a little wiggle is what you're looking for.

Don't rely on those cake testers to tell you if your masterpiece is done either, they really don't work on pumpkin pie. A good trick is to check the filling by the crust. If it starts to form a slight dome you're good. And you'll know if your pie has overcooked; It'll have a large crack down the middle after cooling.

Pre-Bake your Crust
There's nothing more disappointing than cutting into a beautiful pumpkin pie only to find that the crust on the bottom is soggy. That gummy crust can easily be avoided by pre-baking. Chef Egan suggests that after placing your dough in the pie pan, put it into the refrigerator for about an hour to firm up. After that, just pop it in a 390 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

To avoid having the crust bubble up while pre-baking you should use some pie weights. But instead of shelling out money at Williams-Sonoma, Chef Egan says you can use some dry beans instead. Line the bottom of your crust with parchment paper and just put the beans on top while you bake.

Don't ruin your pie with cheap whipped cream
Everyone knows that pumpkin pie is really just an excuse to consume mass quantities of whipped cream. So why scrimp on the most important part? Chef Egan says that making your own whipped cream from scratch is a little more work than shooting it out of a can, but well worth the effort. Just whip the cream, add in sugar as you go and place generously on your pie when done.

We hope these tips help you bake the perfect pumpkin pie to impress your guests and family members this year. But if you run into trouble just remember one important thing; Even the worst pumpkin pie is still pretty delicious. Happy Thanksgiving!