Thomas J. Story

YieldsServes 8 to 10

We love pie, but we also like to have fun with tradition. This pretty tablescape of fruits and leaves can be arranged a day or two ahead, as your holiday dinner decor. Then, when it's time for dessert, bring out bowls, spoons, and paring knives; dishes of candied nuts and pie-crust cookies; some whipped cream; and a couple of bottles of liqueur. Your guests cut up their favorite fruits and add toppings and cookies, creating their own pie in a bowl.

How to Make It

Step 1
1

Arrange whole fruits and leaves down center of dining table, using bowls and plates of different heights. Shortly before dinner, add texture and drama by breaking open one of the pomegranates, a persimmon, and a couple of tangerines or a blood orange. Add candles.

Step 2
2

For dessert: Whip cream with sugar. Whisk crème fraîche to loosen it, then stir into cream. Scoop into a serving bowl and set on the table, along with nuts, cookies, and liqueurs.

Ingredients

 1 or 2 each of any of these fruits (use at least 4 kinds): pomegranates, Seckel pears, small apples, tangerines, blood oranges, grapes on the vine, Fuyu persimmons
  Fall leaves (optional)
 1/2 cup whipping cream
 1 tablespoon sugar
 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  Dessert liqueurs (optional; see below)

Directions

Step 1
1

Arrange whole fruits and leaves down center of dining table, using bowls and plates of different heights. Shortly before dinner, add texture and drama by breaking open one of the pomegranates, a persimmon, and a couple of tangerines or a blood orange. Add candles.

Step 2
2

For dessert: Whip cream with sugar. Whisk crème fraîche to loosen it, then stir into cream. Scoop into a serving bowl and set on the table, along with nuts, cookies, and liqueurs.

Deconstructed Pie