By Tejal Rao
The unassuming pumpkin was a standard find
on American pastry menus long before it became trendy for pastry
chefs to blur the lines between sweet and savory with vegetables
and spices. Pastry Chef Elizabeth Belkind treats Kurri and Tahitian
squash to a long, slow braise in honey, brown butter, and vanilla
to make a rich custard. Sandwiched between a buttery graham cracker
crust and a fluffy burnt marshmallow topping, Belkind’s American
pumpkin pie is both sophisticated and nostalgic.
Chocolate and mint make an invigorating
ending to heavy winter meals. Pastry Chef Molly Hanson fills a crispy
shell of pâte à choux with a scoop of refreshing mint
ice cream for a small tea-time treat or an after-dinner dessert
dribbled with chocolate sauce. For those with time to make a decadent
layered-cake, try building Pastry Chef Zoe Behrens’ Chocolate
Mint Torte, a celebration of chocolate and mint in textures.
Poached pears are a classic holiday
dessert. Pastry Chef Pradeep Dharmawardane chooses the more celebratory
and subtly-flavored Champagne over red wine, spicing the poaching
liquid with vanilla and cinnamon. He hollows the pears, stuffs them
with a mixture of marzipan and cranberries and bakes the whole in
puff pastry for elegant, individual pear-shaped pies.
Pastry Chef Heather Chittum takes
the classic Italian flavor profile of chocolate-hazelnut to new
levels by replacing the standard vanilla of an affogato with homemade
hazelnut gelato and filling traditional yeasted bomboloni with Nutella.
Chittum finishes her whimsical Italian adaptation of coffee and
doughnuts with freshly-brewed espresso poured over the gelato, sweetened
whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Pastry Chef Jérôme Girardot
has two simple recipes for the perfect holiday petit four. Homemade
marshmallows are only slightly sweet, tender, and best of all, easy
on a full belly of turkey, potatoes and pie
For chefs who want to include
a dessert special for the inevitable lactose-intolerant guest take
a look at our favorite dairy-free desserts from Chanukah Jelly Doughnuts
to Saffron-Poached Pears with Champagne Sabayon. You can skip the
butter and cream and still compose elegant and delicious desserts
with our Dairy-Free
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