The first few holidays I spent with my in-laws, I was introduced to their sweet potato casserole, duly done up with nuts and ittty-bitty marshmallows that had bloated in the heat of the oven. The casserole dish—and I think there were two—was about the size of a rowboat that could comfortably seat four and feed 20 times that number. Never did I see more than a square inch consumed. The argument, naturally, has been to eliminate the dish altogether. But one does not contradict tradition.
'Thanksgiving sweets' on Serious Eats
It's still the time of the cranberry around these parts, and while scones, pound cake, and sorbet are all fine uses for fresh berries, I wanted to take them into full-on ice cream territory. But cranberries are a lot more assertive than your average dairy cow; they need something to stand up to their punch.
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.
The poor cranberry. Think: what other fruit offers such powerful flavor and intriguing tartness? Oh, sure, we all go gaga for sour cherries during their two-second season, but the humble cranberry, with us for all of fall, can hope at most for a nibble between bites of turkey. Which is really a shame, because at a time of year when comfort food is on our minds and gravy's running through our veins, cranberries are just what we need.
I was looking for a gift for my goddaughter in the young adult section of a bookstore a few years back and picked up some of the glossier spined novels that had recently been highly publicized or turned into popular primetime TV shows. I was appalled. Aghast. Shocked. Plus, I didn't know what some of the, ahem, maneuvers they were discussing even meant.
When it comes to improving upon already great desserts, combining one dessert with an additional dessert seems to do the trick pretty much every time. (Remember the Cookie Stuffed Cookie?) So when Sonya Jones, the pastry chef-owner of Sweet Auburn Bread Company in Atlanta, Georgia set out to fancy up her sweet potato cheesecake, naturally she paired it with another classic Southern dessert, the pound cake.
Stroll into any New York bagel shop or bodega and it's more than likely that you'll encounter a beloved New Yorker: the black-and-white cookie. With one half chocolate frosting and the other half vanilla, how you approach a black-and-white is telling.
At a pie, cobbler and crisp family reunion, Apple Brown Betty might be looked on as the unassuming second cousin, but don't let the dessert's humble appearance fool you. There's nothing mild or mushy about this autumn classic, especially when made with a generous pour of hard cider.
Apples are everywhere in fall baking, but what about pears? Take away the ubiquitous fall red-wine-poached pear, you'll soon see that there are very few pear desserts out there. When you consider that the more popular member of the pome family is incorporated into nearly everything from pies to cobblers and brown bettys, it's a bit of a mystery as to why pears aren't treated with the same pastry-making regard, especially when you consider their wonderfully delicate, almost floral sweetness.
Pumpkin pie can suck it! If there's a single dish that launches me straight back to the innocence of childhood and the warm comfort of my Yankee roots, it's this: a bowl of warm Indian pudding with vanilla ice cream melting and pooling moat-like around its perimeter. I have heard that some folks who reside in this fair nation have never heard of it, let alone have never tried it. Perhaps because the name conjures up images of actual native tribesmen lodged within the pudding