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Thanksgiving Desserts to Leave Plenty of Room For

Two desserts that pay homage to the autumn flavors of apple and pumpkin.

Some people plow through Thanksgiving dinner and find themselves too full for another bite. In my house, we plan ahead and always leave room for the best part of any meal—dessert.

These recipes use fall's harvest of apples and pumpkins in two deliciously different desserts.

For a twist on traditional apple pie, try adding sliced pears into the mix. Real Simple's Apple and Pear Crumb Pie is a basic recipe, but the pears adds a subtle sweetness and softer texture. I added some fresh nutmeg for another layer of spice as well.

If you don't have the time (or desire) to make a homemade crust, use a refrigerated crust and follow the filling and topping instructions. For a flakier pie crust, try using shortening as well as butter. For an all-butter crust, try this recipe, which yields a delicious but heavier crust. Either way, make sure all of your ingredients are chilled before starting.

The Granny Smith apples lend tartness to this pie, while the topping and the pears add enough, but not too much, sweetness. If using a double pie crust instead of the crumb topping, add 1/4 cup more sugar to the filling to compensate for the lost sweetness of the topping. Before serving, make sure you allow the pie to cool for 30 minutes so the juices can thicken.

The Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream makes a beautiful and impressive presentation. Don't be intimidated by the word "roulade," which in culinary terms means some kind of rolled food. This sponge cake is simple to make and easily pliable when still warm. The trick is to line your baking sheet with parchment paper that has been greased and floured on both sides.

My children love rolling this cake when it's been spread with the filling. The pumpkin flavor of the roulade mingles well with the tangy ginger-studded mascarpone cheese, which is a smooth Italian cream cheese. And the orange color and swirled slices add a festive note to the holiday table.

Have fun with your Thanksgiving traditions, even if means using a classic flavor in a different form.

Here are a few other ideas:

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