Moscato d'Asti Pairings
Stone-Fruit Panzanella with Zabaglione
Pairing: 2011 Vietti Cascinetta
A classic Italian panzanella (bread salad) combines juicy tomatoes and bread cubes. Here, Chris Cosentino swaps in stone fruits like apricots and peaches for the tomatoes. Then he pushes the dessert over the top by dolloping the "salad" with an airy zabaglione, a frothy sauce of egg yolks whipped with sweet dessert wine.
Vanilla Semifreddo and Orange Sorbet Terrine
Pairing: 2011 Beni di Batasiolo Bosc dLa Rei
Reminiscent of a Creamsicle, this creamy, tangy terrine can be made with a shortcut: store-bought orange sorbet.
Raspberry Tart with a Pistachio Crust
Pairing: 2011 Gianni Doglia
Pastry chef Jennifer McCoy of Craft in New York City bristles when other people offer to bring dessert to parties. "What are they thinking?" she says. "That's mine!" McCoy often brings this raspberry tart, with its creamy filling and pistachio-studded crust. She packs the components separately and assembles the tart just before serving.
Coconut Pudding with Pineapple and Candied Cashews
Pairing: 2011 Vignaioli di S. Stefano
This dessert is called a soufflé at Philipkutty's Farm, but it's much more like a rich, creamy pudding with deep tropical flavors and a sweet, nutty garnish. Here it's molded in an 8-inch square pan; the pudding can also be prepared in individual custard cups or ramekins. Cooking the pineapple mixture is key because raw pineapple contains an enzyme that prevents a pudding from setting.
Warm Peach Shortcake with Brandy Whipped Cream
Pairing: 2011 Saracco
Constance Snow's The Rustic Table offers smart, no-nonsense recipes from peasant cuisines around the world. Snow, who lives in New Orleans, also looks close to home for inspiration. Here, for instance, she makes one giant shortcake and layers it with warm, buttery peaches, then cuts it into wedges for serving.
Tropical Fruit Cobbler with Coconut Macaroon Topping
Pairing: NV Massimiliano Vivalda Nettare
Because they don't contain leavening (or dairy, which is prohibited at meat-based meals), coconut macaroon cookies are commonly served at seders. Adam Perry Lang wanted to play on the idea of a macaroon in this clever dessert, so he turned the cookie into a fluffy meringue with toasted coconut and ground almonds, which he then uses to top a juicy mixture of pineapple and mango.