Tag Archives: Thanksgiving dessert

The Antidote to Pumpkin Pie: Cranberry Linzer Tart

Move over cranberry sauce. Make way for cranberry Linzer tart.
Move over cranberry sauce. Make way for cranberry Linzer tart.

Anyone who knows me well knows that pumpkin pie just isn’t my jam on Thanksgiving Day.

But “Cranberry Linzer Tart,” which actually has a jam-like filling most certainly is.

Over the years, I’ve become partial to cranberry desserts for the big holiday. With their vivid color, the berries add an especially festive look. And after a groaning meal, their wonderful tartness refreshes and resets the palate like nothing else.

This recipe is from the archives of Bon Appetit magazine. It was created by food writer Claire Saffitz, author of the cookbook, “Dessert Person” (Clarkson Potter, 2020), and a former contributing editor at the magazine.

A toasty, nutty crumbly double-crust full of warm spices nestles a jammy filling.
A toasty, nutty crumbly double-crust full of warm spices nestles a jammy filling.

As far as pies and tarts go, this one is fairly easy to do. Best yet, you can make not only the dough and filling ahead of time — always a plus when time is short during the holidays — but the entire tart can be baked the day before, then served at room temperature or reheated in the oven for serving.

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Tartine’s Sweet Potato Tea Cake with Meringue

Not your average loaf cake.
Not your average loaf cake.

A tea cake is a tea cake is a tea cake — until Tartine gets its hands on it.

Like a basic little black dress that turns extraordinarily chic with the right broach or necklace, this sweet-potato loaf cake goes from fundamental to fancifully froufrou enough to be the life of the party, thanks to a halo of torched meringue.

“Sweet Potato Tea Cake with Meringue” is from the new “Tartine: A Classic Revisited: 68 All-New Recipes + 55 Updated Favorites” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy. It’s by co-founders Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson of the famed Tartine bakery founded in San Francisco, with locations worldwide now.

It’s a revised edition to their original book that came out 13 years ago. Of the 122 recipes, 67 are new, including one for Tartine’s ever-popular “Morning Bun.” There are also more recipes that use less sugar and more global flavors, as well as more gluten-free ones.

A few of these recipes are indeed for ambitious bakers, including a sleek, contemporary “Buche de Noel.” The majority of them, however, shouldn’t intimidate most home-bakers. “Black Tea Blondies with Caramel Swirl,” “Cranberry Upside-Down Cake,” and “Brioche Jam Buns” just entice you into the kitchen.

Imagine your favorite pumpkin bread, but made with sweet potato instead. That’s what this moist, tender loaf cake is like. But it goes one better by getting a cloud of meringue on top that gets swirled with the cake batter to produce pretty streaks in it.

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A Complete Thanksgiving Meal — Rendered In Ice Cream Form

Turkey fat caramel ice cream with candied turkey skin brittle mixed in. I kid you not.

Turkey fat caramel ice cream with candied turkey skin brittle mixed in. I kid you not.


I just downed a scoop of turkey ice cream — and I loved it!

If you’re looking for a way to jazz up Thanksgiving, look no further than Salt & Straw.

The Portland-based ice creamery that has become a sensation with its highly unusual offerings has encapsulated the quintessential flavors of the Thanksgiving feast in its new holiday ice creams.

I had a chance to try samples of the five festive flavors, when pints were sent to my home.

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Baked’s Pumpkin Almond Cake

Moist pumpkin cake slathered with thick almond butter frosting.

At this time of year, we go gaga for pumpkin.

Me, included. But just not in pie.

Those of you who have read me long enough know that I love all things pumpkin — just not pie.

As a result, it’s always a challenge to find something pumpkin-y for Thanksgiving that is not the typical pie. Something special enough to serve guests. Something grand enough to be the memorable sweet finale to such a meaningful holiday that we wait for all year-long.

Thank goodness for the guys at Baked bakery in Brooklyn, who have come up with “Pumpkin Almond Cake with Almond Butter Frosting.” It’s from the newest cookbook, “Baked Elements” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang), by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, who gave up their jobs in advertising to open their much-praised bakery known for its homey and ridiculously satisfying cookies, cakes and pastries.

This cookbook, their third, includes 75 recipes that highlight their 10 favorite ingredients — everything from peanut butter to malted milk powder to cheese, and of course, pumpkin.

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Best Apple Cake EVER — Courtesy of Pastry Chef Joanne Chang

The apple cake to end all apple cakes. Sheer perfection.

Throw out all those other apple cake recipes. Even the ones handed down to you by relatives (Sacrilege, I know. But you’ll get over the guilt.)

Because the only one you need is this one.

How incredible is this apple cake?

My husband, who doesn’t even like apples (Is there such a person?), took one bite and mid-chew mumbled, “This IS good! And you know, I don’t even like apples.” (Uh, yup, duly noted.)

The name, “Apple Snacking Spice Cake,” doesn’t even do it justice. That moniker conjures up a simple after-school cake baked in a square pan, and cut up to eat out of hand.

That is not this cake.

Rather, this cake is round, tall and the color of dark caramel. It is jam-packed with fruit, too. The batter is quite thick. In fact, it’s almost more apples than actual batter. If that weren’t enough, there’s also a full cup of toasted pecans in it, too. For good measure, there’s also a big handful of raisins. I actually used dried mulberries instead because I love their date-like taste.

A profusion of apples and pecans in every slice.

The result is a cake, in which every bite is a riot of apples and nuts, as well as warm spices of ginger, cloves and cinnamon. But don’t think this cake is too moist like a dreaded fruitcake. Nope, it’s tender and its moistness level is just right. What’s more, when it bakes up, the top of the cake gets that heavenly crisp, crackly texture we all can’t resist.

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