Need suggestions for dessert following Christmas meal featuring Melissa Clark's crown roast of pork, described in this week's dining section.

The flavor profile is inspired by traditional Tuscan flavors. Here is the link: http://dinersjournal.blogs... The rest of the menu would be fairly simple, and not too rich. I don't need authenticity here, just some good ideas on how you'd end the meal. Likely sides will be broccoli rabe with savory pine nuts; mashed potatoes with olive oil and parmesan, Amanda's butternut squash puree (which I'll scent with rosemary), apple Mostarda Mantovana + fruit chutneys I made last summer, a light salad, etc. I typically serve fruit and cheese, but want something a bit more festive for the occasion. Thanks, everyone! ;o)



leigh F. December 17, 2014
Thank you so much. Sounds delicious.
AntoniaJames December 27, 2012
Just to follow up on this . . . a family member requested that I make my Rustic Pear Tart with Walnut Streusel Topping , so I did. I also made individual small vanilla panna cotte topped with a cranberry pear sauce well laced with brandy. In retrospect I probably would just have served a spiked whipped cream instead, but everyone liked the rather small panna cottas. Also, I ended up serving a pork rib roast, as I did not need the minimum 11 chops necessary for forming and tying the crown. I made my own rub with rosemary, fennel and lemon zest, and roasted the pork over sliced onions and fennel, generously moistened with white wine. Turned out perfectly delicious. ;o)
leigh F. December 17, 2014
I'm thinking of making this for Christmas this year. Did you roast it upside down first the way the recipe states? Thanks.

AntoniaJames December 17, 2014
I roasted it this way: Wonderful meal, that was. ;o)
QueenSashy December 19, 2012
How about meringue cookies with whipped cream and raspberries.
Pegeen December 19, 2012
What a delicious menu! I'd second the idea of pears roasted simply but if you can handle the kitchen labor, adding sabayon to make them "dolce" for the conclusion of the meal would be lovely. Or raspberries with sabayon as mentioned above.
Maedl December 19, 2012
Since it is for Christmas, cookies are in season! What about a selection of biscotti (slice them as thinly as possible and serve them in crystal glasses and they will be absolutely elegant) and other Italian cookies like amaretti or Sicilian pine nut cookies served with vin santo.
abbyarnold December 18, 2012
My friend Janet made an almond cake from Chez Panisse recently that was perfect with fruit. It was mostly almond flour, lots of what was probably olive oil, fairly flat with no icing. Fabulous. I have an olive oil cake recipe with lemon or orange zest in it that is similar. Not too sweet and it lets the fruit shine.
ATG117 December 15, 2012
I love the pana cotta idea. For something else non-fruity, what about a chocolate mousse or a flourless chocolate cake
Bevi December 15, 2012
I made these roasted vanilla pears for guests the other night:

And I served them with Mrs. Larkin's pumpkin bread, and a little vanilla creme fraiche on the side. The combination was incredible! The pears while roasting fill the kitchen with the most delicious aroma!
bigpan December 14, 2012
My "go to" dessert is always a fresh hot zabaglione (sabayon for the French). Labor intensive at the time but very impressive if you can do table side or invite guests to the kitchen to watch it take shape.
Buy some expensive out-of-season raspberries and put into martini glasses.
Invite everyone to bring their glass to the lichen where they watch you transform an egg into a custard of happiness ! Ladle a bit into their glasses and listen to the sounds of "wow" and the graciously accept the thunderous applause.
minibakersupreme December 14, 2012
Oh, one more thing. You could make a semolina cake to serve with some wine-poached pears (which you could make a few days ahead) and reduce the sauce. That would be phenomenal!
minibakersupreme December 14, 2012
I agree with everyone! What great suggestions. If you wanted some wonderful Italian dessert ideas, even though you said it didn't have to be on-theme, check out Gina Depalma's book Dolce Italiano. I'm always a fan of panna cotta, particularly one made with cream cheese. You could do fig compote, sour cherry compote, or even cranberry. Serve it with some homemade graham crackers and you're set- it's almost like cheesecake! Or you could go a very simple route and serve little baci cookies with espresso or french press coffee.
em-i-lis December 14, 2012
i am late to the game, but i wanted to second chefjune's idea of a fruit dessert. i always make a blackberry pie, my grandma's recipe, for both thanksgiving and christmas because it follows a heavy meal quite well.
a fresh torta della nonna is also lovely and would resonate with the tuscan flavors in your main!
ChefJune December 14, 2012
Are you in the market for an elegant dessert, or a lighter dessert? After a big meal, I'm a fan of fruit desserts. Some of my favorites are Maple Baked Apples, Poached Pears with Lime Sabayon, or Roasted Quince with homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. If you want recipes, just holler!
HalfPint December 14, 2012
How about pears poached in white wine? It's an easy and elegant dessert.
kimhw December 13, 2012
This is a bit similar to some of the others but...
Pork always screams for a warm fruity topping. But I don't like super sweet desserts. So, a goat cheese sorbet topped with a warm berry and nut compote would be my ideal.
Kukla December 13, 2012
Dear AJ, you already got a few delicious and wonderful suggestions, but I would like to add that your own thought about using quince is very clever. I just would like to give you a tip; it is a lot easier peel and slice quince if you blanch them for 5 to 8 minutes until barely tender. This step will also give you a very fragrant quince infused cooking liquid. During fall and winter a Quince compote paired with a couple of your favorite sharp cheeses will be a perfect cheese course or dessert.
AntoniaJames December 13, 2012
Now that sounds great. And yes, a fig compote, perhaps with "figgy pudding" spices (and a few dried cherries, bits of dried apple, etc. thrown in) would be perfectly lovely with that. Mmmmm. Yum. ;o)
EmilyC December 13, 2012
How about a buttermilk or creme fraiche panna cotta? You could serve with or without fruit on the side...thinking a fig compote would be lovely.
Monita December 13, 2012
For something a little more elaborate but actually quite easy to make - a pastry wreath filled with orange rum pastry cream
AntoniaJames December 13, 2012
How interesting! Have never seen, much less made, anything like it. Love the orange rum combo. Very December!! ;o)
sdebrango December 13, 2012
What about Cider baked apples could serve with ice cream or creme anglaise
AntoniaJames December 13, 2012
Great, great suggestion! You are brilliant. I made pear mostarda for T-Day, which I've been "working on" since then, so I'm thinking perhaps I should make a quince mostarda (dread the prep, but will tackle it if necessary) instead of the apple I had planned . . . . Or do you have another good idea for a mustard-y holiday condiment?? I'll probably put out the stone fruit chutney that we made at our preserving potluck, as well as my green tomato and apple chutney. Your thoughts? ;o)
sdebrango December 13, 2012
Quince would be wonderful, they are a bit difficult to deal with. What about tropical fruit in place of apples or pears. I once made a mango,mustard and brown sugar glaze for baked ham and it was delicious.
AntoniaJames December 13, 2012
I have a nectarine mustard I made last summer that I'll put out . . . it's really not chunky and juicy like the mostarda, but the stone fruit chutney is, so perhaps I'll just go that route. One less item to worry about! Your mango glaze sounds fabulous -- will keep that in mind for my next ham. ;o)
sdebrango December 13, 2012
Nectarine sounds great, a stone fruit chutney sounds perfect. One less thing to do is a good thing for sure. Sounds like an amazingly delicious meal.
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