The turkey is merely a carcass, the massive mashed sweet potato bowl has enough still in it for the beginnings of a Boxing Day breakfast feast and it is now time to present the dessert.
The final course is the last chance to dazzle and impress the Christmas dinner guests. There are so many holiday tastes to choose from. Here are a few dessert suggestions from some of the best in the business.
Back in 2007 on his show called F Word, Gordon Ramsay prepared very traditional shortcrust pastry mince pies.
Ramsay likes to include orange zest and a few tablespoons of Brandy in his mince tart recipe.
"Serve warm with a light sifting of icing sugar on top," says Ramsay.
The full recipe can be found at www.channel4.com.
Martha Stewart recommends going a little less traditional with Baked Alaska. She notes that the dessert originated at Delmonico's restaurant in New York City to commemorate the United States' purchase of Alaska in 1867. Find her recipe at www.marthastewart.com
Wolfgang Puck prefers dessert pancakes after his turkey dinner.
His key ingredients are buttermilk and vanilla.
Serve the pancakes hot with dried apricot jam and whipped cream or crème fraiche, he suggests.
While we all miss professional hockey this dessert might help fill the void and Puck is found on the net at www.wolfgangpuck.com.
Canadian Chef Michael Smith, who was in Whistler for the Olympic Winter Games of 2010, likes to serve up apple pie.
"I'm always careful to save a thick wedge because I believe apple pie is at its best the next morning for breakfast," says Smith. His recipe is found at chefmichaelsmith.com.
Chef Jamie Oliver is a bit cheeky with his festive strudel. His recipe calls for left over Christmas pudding, apples, pears and quince along with and good-quality chocolate.
Oliver says the quince is optional.
"My mantra this year is not to waste any food at Christmas and this pudding is a perfect example of how a simple packet of filo pastry can turn leftovers or unwanted gifts into a cracking new dessert," says Oliver. "The pastry is a great vehicle to add crunch and, with the grated fruit and that surprise burst of chocolate at the heart of the strudel, no one will know that pudding is essentially made from leftovers."
Surf over to www.jamieoliver.com for the ingredients and instructions.
For purists there's the classic Christmas plum pudding and Julia Child has a recipe void of plums that she served flaming with a zabaione sauce. The preparation time is a mere 20 minutes but patience is required once it goes into the oven because this pudding takes six hours to bake. The queen of French cuisine's recipe can be found at homecooking.about.com.
One last traditional recipe recommendation comes from Chef Emeril Lagasse. He recommends a Yule log and his version can be found at www.emerils.com.
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