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.
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
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.
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.
Dessert liqueurs: Set a few bottles of liqueur on the table for those who'd like to spike their dessert. We like Grand Marnier; cherry liqueur (such as Clear Creek Distillery); and Allspice Dram, a rum-based liqueur that tastes like concentrate of pie.
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