Desserts To Help Ring In The New Year

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Pastry chef Aggie Chin shares her recipes for a dinner party dessert, a citrus pavlova cake, and festive drink of pink champagne and a dollop of grapefruit sorbet.
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Pastry chef Aggie Chin returned for the third time this week, this time to talk about dinner parties — in particular, what are some good desserts to make for a small get-together on New Year's Eve?

NPR's Susan Davis and Sam Sanders join the conversation with host Ailsa Chang to talk about eating while on the campaign trail — it's not always fun.

Listen to the whole conversation at the audio link and check out some recipes below.


Citrus pavlova

1 tbsp cornstarch

11 oz granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

6 ounces egg whites, at room temperature

1 tbsp grapefruit zest, optional

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Combine the cornstarch and sugar in a small bowl.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cream of tartar and egg whites. Whip on low speed until the whites get frothy.

Increase the speed to medium and add the sugar, a little at a time, making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding more.

Once all the sugar is added, increase the speed to medium high and whip until the meringue is glossy and very stiff.

Add the zest if using and fold it in with a spatula.

Spoon or pipe out two rounds, about 8 inches in diameter on sheet tray lined with parchment.

As soon as you put it in the oven, lower the temperature down to 250 degrees F. Bake for about an hour until the outside is crisp, but the inside is still soft.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature if not using right away.


Lemon cream

Lemon curd

6 oz lemon juice

6 oz sugar

2 tsp cornstarch

3 eggs

3 oz butter, at room temperature

Whisk together the juice, sugar, cornstarch and eggs in a pot. Cook over medium heat while whisking, until it thickens and starts to bubble. Let it boil for at least a minute, take off the heat, and whisk in the butter.

Let it cool completely in an ice bath.

10 oz heavy cream

Whip the cream to stiff peaks. Fold in lemon curd. Chill until ready to use.

To assemble:

Segment 6 oranges/grapefruit/etc. Set aside.

Place one round of meringue on a large platter or cake stand. Top with half the lemon cream. Arrange half the citrus segments evenly on top.

Place the second round on top of the citrus and repeat with the remaining cream and citrus.

Serve immediately.


Grapefruit sorbet

12 oz water

9 oz sugar

6 oz grapefruit juice

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 oz Campari, optional

Boil the sugar and water together to make a syrup. Cool in an ice bath. Add the juices and Campari if using. Stir to combine.

Spin in an ice cream maker of your choice. Keep in the freezer for at least two hours until firm.

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