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Dessert Advice from a Pro

Award-winning executive pastry chef Emily Luchetti, a star at Farallon restaurant in San Francisco, offered these insights on dessert making:

  • Whenever you do a recipe, break it down into organizational steps: This I can do ahead, this I have to do at the last minute. Like a chocolate sauce or caramel sauce, they'll last a week in the refrigerator as long as you hide them and don't eat them.

  • Make your tart dough ahead and roll it out and put it in the freezer for a couple of weeks.

  • If I'm having a party at home, I usually have a selection of two desserts. I often have something that is really chocolatey and rich, and then something like a fruit-based dessert that is much lighter. So then people can have their pick—indulge themselves or not. I've also gotten in the habit of taking the whole dessert to the table to give people the choice.

  • I never make fresh berry sauces. I always use frozen berries because they work great and are also much more convenient. [Fresh] strawberries will make sauce well, but raspberries might not yield a lot of juice, and they are pretty expensive.

More Yummy Holiday Desserts

Bourbon Apple Tarts
Fresh Pumpkin Pie
Chocolate-Cranberry Clusters
Pear and Hazelnut Crisp
Sliced Apples with Cinnamon Pudding
Chocolate Angel Cake with Oranges and Chocolate Sauce


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