Pastry chef Zoe Nathan prefers to be called a baker, which better reflects her unpretentious style. "I like making desserts that go from oven to table without a lot of fussing and futzing," she says. Her stunning yet simple crostata, which uses juicy blood oranges at their peak, is nothing but sweet-tart oranges and a bit of sugar on a flaky, buttery crust.
Cal Peternell likes teaching recipes that are extremely versatile, like this one. The cake is wonderful when it’s made with almost any type of fruit, from figs and blood oranges to pineapple. Cal usually uses sweet Meyer lemons from his neighbor’s tree. Regular lemons are tasty too and add a bitter note that’s a lovely contrast to the gooey brown-sugar topping.
This pavlova has a secret: The whipped cream on top of the crisp meringue shell tastes a lot like a Creamsicle. Pastry chef Wendy Boys of Vancouver’s Lumière unconventionally flavors the Australian dessert with vanilla and fresh oranges, and then—in another break from tradition—tops it with cranberries and mint.
These pillowy, vitamin C-packed cakelets are adapted from The Greyston Bakery Cookbook. “When you overwhelm dry ingredients with wet ones, an amazing texture separation happens,” Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan says. “These cakes are rich without being too heavy.”
Pastry chef Lynn Moulton aims for intriguing textural contrasts in her desserts. Her moist lemon cake, for instance, is wonderful on its own; what pushes it over the top into extreme deliciousness is its crackly caramel glaze. “Once they taste it, people can’t stop talking about it,” Moulton says.
This is a terrific cross between a tart and a cake; it has a crisp, delicate crust as well as a cakey filling made with nutty browned butter and vanilla bean. Pastry chef serves it all year-round with different toppings, but for the holidays, she loves to pile on fresh cranberries.
To make this glorious pie, Momofuku pastry chef Christina Tosi uses a cinnamon-sugar crumb crust, a luscious brown butter filling and a cranberry glaze. Adorning the dessert: sweet potato-white chocolate ganache.