Magazine article Sunset

Decorate with Dessert

Magazine article Sunset

Decorate with Dessert

Article excerpt



To create this tablescape, arrange seasonal fruits and leaves along the center of your dining table. Then, when it's time for dessert, bring out bowls, spoons, and paring knives; whipped cream; and dishes of candied nuts and pie-crust cookies (using our recipes or store-bought nuts and butter cookies). Your guests choose from it all to put together their own pie in a bowl.

1 or 2 each of any of these fruits (use at least 4 kinds): pomegranates, Seckel pears, small apples, tangerines, blood oranges, grapes on the vine, Fuyu persimmons

Fall leaves (optional)

VÎ cup whipping cream

1 tbsp. sugar

Vi cup creme fraÎche

Shiny Candied Nuts (recipe opposite)

Pie-Crust Currant Cookies and/or

Pie-Crust Leaf Cookies (recipes opposite) Dessert liqueurs (optional; see opposite)

1. Arrange whole fruits and leaves down center of dining table, using bowls and plates of different heights. Shortly before dinner, add texture and drama by breaking open one of the pomegranates, a persimmon, and a couple of tangerines or a blood orange. Add candles.

2. For dessert: Whip cream with sugar. Whisk creme fraÎche to loosen it, then stir into cream. Scoop into a serving bowl and set on the table, along with nuts, cookies, and liqueurs.

? DIGITAL BONUS Classic pie and more sweet ways to cap off your holiday feast:



These little bites taste like mincemeat pie and are good with fruit (or just on their own).

1 (9-in.) pie-crust pastry, storebought or homemade

1 tbsp. salted butter, melted

1 tbsp. cardamom

Vi cup sugar

Vi cup currants

1 large egg

1 tbsp. honey

1. Preheat oven to 400°. With a rolling pin, lightly roll pastry into a '/e-in.-thick rectangle or square. Brush pastry with butter, then mix cardamom and sugar and sprinkle it over pastry, leaving a Vi-in. border clear on edge. Sprinkle a single dense layer of currants on top of sugar. If pastry is sticky or stretchy, chill IS minutes before proceeding.

2. Roll pastry into a tight log. Slice into Vi-in.-thick slices and arrange, cut side up, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, pushing them back into rounds if they get irregular. Blend egg with 1 tbsp. water and brush cookies with egg wash.

3. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Mix honey with 1 tbsp. water and dab onto warm cookies to make them shiny. Let cool briefly on sheet, then lift to a rack to cool completely.

make ahead Up to 1 week, airtight at room temperature. …

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