Save the best for last with these incredible sweet treats.
To make a stylish swirl: Dot the thick frosting with a few drops of red food color paste, and stir gently to give it a swirled appearance. Carefully spoon into a zip-top bag, and pipe out.
The shortbread-like crust stands up well to a luscious ricotta filling that's topped with pretty port-stained pears. Larger pear wedges (as shown) are stunning; you can also cut the pears into thin slices and arrange spokelike on top. Prepare the crust and pears up to 1 day ahead and refrigerate. Assemble just before serving.
View Recipe: Port-Glazed Pear Tart with Rosemary-Cornmeal Crust
While the buttery, maple-scented filling is inspired by classic pecan pie, we swap in toasted walnuts and add chopped fresh cranberries for a beautiful pop of color and tart flavor contrast that cuts the sweetness.
View Recipe: Maple-Walnut Cranberry Pie
This pie comes together quickly and won't hog oven space as it chills and sets in the fridge (a great make-ahead option). You can use decaf instant coffee granules instead of regular, or leave them out entirely for a silky-smooth chocolate pie with vanilla topping.
View Recipe: Mocha Pie with Coffee Whipped Cream
"Semifreddo" is an Italian term that refers to any number of frozen or chilled desserts. Here we offer a frozen orange-scented mousse made with ricotta cheese. It's worth the effort to search out the best ricotta you can find.
View Recipe: Ricotta Semifreddo