As you might imagine, we've been spending a fair amount of time plotting our Thanksgiving meal lately, and much of that time has been devoted to finding a truly special dessert (or three) to end the feast. Well, we're happy to say that we've found that Thanksgiving showstopper of a dessert in Francine Segan's latest cookbook, Dolci: Italy's Sweets.
'fall sweets' on Serious Eats
This Ricotta Pear Cake have roots in Napoli but with its layers of chewy hazelnut cake and fluffy brandy-spiked pear ricotta filling, we think it's a gorgeous way to end a Thanksgiving meal.
There's something inherently cozy and satisfying about eating pumpkin flavored treats, especially as the days get shorter and the need for comfort food grows. San Francisco isn't lacking for pumpkin desserts, but many are only available for a short time. If you're wondering how to spend that precious window between summer's fruit tarts and the holiday cookie onslaught, look no further. Here are 8 of the best pumpkin treats in the city.
My first taste of great pumpkin pie (during a meal at an outstanding New York City restaurant) caused me to shed all previous notions of how pumpkin pie can taste. This one was creamy and perfectly spiced, with subtle sweetness standing back to allow the mellow pumpkin flavor and aroma to shine. More than a pie, it was an inspiration, and it turned my old opinion of pumpkin pie on its head.
Savory sweets are hardly new, but Finger Lakes-based Stony Brook takes it up another level with their new line of squash oils. Each of the five nutty oils (Acorn, Kabocha, Delicata, Butternut Squash, and Pumpkin Seed) is composed of the oils from the roasted squash seeds and nothing else. The roasted pumpkin seed oil is incredible when drizzled over a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream and finished with a touch of Maldon salt.
This recipe is super easy to make will make you feel like a gourmet superstar as you casually throw your bag of whole berries onto the conveyor belt with the same abandon as the following packet of frozen peas. When the person in line behind you asks what you're going to make with those cranberries you can smile and say, "What, these old things? I've got a nice little coffee cake recipe. No big deal."
Poached pears make a great dessert on their own, but my favorite use for them is as an ingredient in baked goods. Poaching the pears before using them in quick breads, muffins, cakes, and pies gives them vibrant, spicy flavor and ensures that they won't be undercooked or dried out. Feel free to customize the spice combination that you use to your taste.
The saying may go "as American as apple pie" but I would venture that the simplicity and thrift embodied in Apple Brown Betty is much more in keeping with the pioneer spirit. It takes just a few pantry basics—if you have stale bread, apples, butter and cinnamon, you're already halfway there. There's no crust to chill and roll, no crumble to mix, no biscuits to prep and possibly best of all, you can get an Apple Brown Betty on the table in an hour.
Granola is a culinary frenemy. On the one hand, it claims to be helping you out, providing fiber and other health benefits. Then it goes and makes you fat behind your back.
The aromatic quince has a fleeting season, just a few months in the early fall. This Apple, Pear & Quince Galette combines the perfumed fruit with apples and pears into a rustic, free form tart.
Years ago there was a fig tree in a corner of the garden. The figs hung low and plump, hiding in the shade of its own parasol leaves. The tree was unceremoniously cut down after the occasional evening bat became legion. Tree or no tree, higos en miel were made whenever they were in season.
If I were a poet, I'd write an ode to the grapes that have graced my local greenmarket recently. I love their pucker-inducing skins, and their sweet juicy insides. I love the way that the squishy, gelatinous centers burst out of the skins and squeak between my teeth. I love the seed-spitting contests my husband and amused ourselves with childishly from a blanket in the park. And, most of all, given their perfect combination of sweet, tart and colorful, I'm loving them for baking.