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Divine desserts

  • A creation from Crisp a new Sonoma bakery, hard cider and calvados apple pies (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

If you want to make a splash on Thanksgiving day, don't show up to the annual potluck with the same old store-bought pumpkin pie and a canister of whipped cream.

Instead, bring a yummy homemade dessert that will stand out from the crowd and showcase all the delicious fruits of autumn, like crisp, fall apples and succulent pears.

"Everybody's coming to the potluck with Aunt Betsy's casserole and a store-bought pie," said Moaya Scheiman, co-owner of Crisp Bakeshop in Sonoma with his wife, Andrea Koweek. "We're offering something different."

Along with an array of seasonal cakes for the holidays, Crisp is baking up batches of easy, free-form galettes made in the autumnal flavors of sweet potato and marshmallow, pear and hazelnut.

Galettes are ideal for home cooks struggling to survive during the busy holiday season because the free-form crust is easier to shape than a regular pie crust.

"Galettes are easy to transport," Koweek said. "And you don't have to worry about leaving a pie plate behind."

For the holidays, the shop is also offering apple pies made with hard cider and Calvados, an apple brandy from France.

"With the hard cider, it's almost like adding vinegar, which brings the sweetness up," Scheiman said. "And the Calvados gives it a deep, rich taste and an adult flavor."

The couple expects Crisp to be extremely busy this week, with a raft of customers stopping by today to pick up their orders. But the bakeshop will close on Thanksgiving so that the couple can host their own potluck dinner at the storefront.

"We're doing a pop-up potluck for orphans," Scheiman said. "There will be about 10 workers and friends who don't have families close by."

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