Fruity Fall Desserts

When autumn comes blustering in, have the cake pan ready

When the air turns crisp and the holidays edge ever closer, then it's time to put away the bathing suits and pull out the pie plates.

While some might say the turn of the fall season is to say goodbye to sweet ripe fruit, we say: ARE YOU KIDDING!? Sure, it'll be another year before we get a prime strawberry or peach, but with fall comes pears, and apples, and persimmons, and quince, and figs, and the list goes on. Here, these luscious autumn fruits are coaxed into beautiful pies, tarts, cakes, and crumbles—even ice cream (ice cream doesn't end with summer either!).

So get baking—after all, Thanksgiving is right around the corner; and you have plenty pumpkin desserts to try out before the big day.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Salted Caramel Apple Pie
A deep-dish pie is packed with both sweet and tart apples to balance the rich, salted caramel sauce. Get the recipe for Salted Caramel Apple Pie »Andrew Ingalls
Pear Tarte Tatin

Pear Tarte Tatin

This tart is traditionally made with apples, but firm-fleshed pears make a delicate and delicious alternative.Vanessa Rees
Pumpkin Spice Cake with Mascarpone

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Mascarpone

Enjoy pumpkin spiced cake as an indulgent breakfast or teatime treat.Anna Stockwell
Hungarian Plum Cake (Szilvás Pite)

Hungarian Plum Cake (Szilvás Pite)

Yogurt adds a slight tartness to this cake from home cook Mária Keresztes Kovács. While any stone-fruit may be substituted, plums—especially Italian plums—are in season well into autumn.Todd Coleman
Fig Ice Cream

Fig Ice Cream

Ripe black mission figs, sweet brown sugar, and just a hint of cinnamon combine beautifully in this swirled ice cream, as lovely to look at as it is to eat.Helen Rosner

Pear and Ginger Pie with Streusel Topping

Pear and Ginger Pie with Streusel Topping
Fresh ginger gives the filling of this pear pie a warming kick of spice, balanced by the buttery crumble of sweet streusel.Ariana Lindquist
Persimmon Pudding

Persimmon Pudding

Eva Powell, a former elementary-school librarian in Mitchell, Indiana, has won the town's pudding contest five times with her recipe for persimmon pudding with a crispy, cake-like crust.Helen Rosner
Lebanese Date Shortbread (Ma'amoul)

Lebanese Date Shortbread (Ma'amoul)

These Lebanese shortbread cookies feature a buttery pastry scented with rose and orange blossom waters wrapped around a cinnamon and nutmeg–spiced date filling.
Nelson Pear Pie

Nelson Pear Pie

A pie filled with fresh pears, drizzled with cream, and sprinkled with sugar and flour makes an incredibly simple, elegant dessert.James Roper
Debesmanna (Cranberry Mousse)

Debesmanna (Cranberry Mousse)

Farina undergoes an unexpected transformation from hot cereal to airy pudding in this tart-sweet Latvian dessert, which is typically served with milk poured on top.Todd Coleman
Roasted Dates with Sherry and Spices

Roasted Dates with Sherry and Spices

Sweet dates are roasted in a cinnamon-spiced sherry syrup.Tim Mazurek

Caramel-Apple Pie

Caramel apple pie recipe
A cinnamon-spiced sauce of butter and melted caramel candies poured over apples makes a wonderfully sweet, gooey pie filling.James Roper
Apple Pie Ice Cream Pie

Apple Pie Ice Cream Pie

A crust of finely ground gingersnap cookie crumbs adds delicious crunch to vanilla ice cream, softened apples, and a caramel drizzle.Maxime Iattoni
Spice Applesauce Cake

Spice Applesauce Cake

Applesauce adds moisture and sweet apple flavor in a lovely cinnamon-spiced, autumnal cake.Tim Mazurek
Apple-Rosemary Lattice Pie

Apple-Rosemary Lattice Pie

A rosemary-laced cornmeal crust adds a fragrant, savory dimension to classic apple pie. Get the recipe for Apple-Rosemary Lattice Pie »James Roper
Plum Tart

Plum Tart

The recipe for this quick and easy tart comes from the fifth edition of Joy of Cooking (Bobbs-Merrill, 1963), and features crushed amaretti cookies, walnuts, and brandy-soaked raisins.Todd Coleman

Caramel Apples with Nuts

What could be better than gooey, delicious caramel-coated apples? Gooey, delicious caramel-coated apples with nuts.Christopher Hirsheimer
Plum Pie

Plum Pie

Grape jelly intensifies the flavor of ripe plums in this sweet-tart summer pie from Drummond Ranch pie contestant Tracy Harris.James Roper

Torta di Sant'Antonio (Sant'Antonio Apple Tart)

Cooks in the Italian Alpine village of Oulx flavor this tart with red wine and cinnamon to honor the town's patron saint, Sant'Antonio. Get the recipe for Torta di Sant'Antonio (Sant'Antonio Apple Tart) »Todd Coleman
Spiced Persimmon Frozen Yogurt

Spiced Persimmon Frozen Yogurt

Classic frozen yogurt gets a boost from floral persimmon and toasted spices.André Baranowski
Cranberry Chiffon Pie

Cranberry Chiffon Pie

Fresh or frozen cranberries make the base for this tart custard pie.Andrew Ingalls
Rosh Hashanah Apple Cake

Nanny's Rosh Hashanah Apple Cake

With a streusel topping and pie-like dough, this Rosh Hashanah apple dessert is half cake, half pie. Get the recipe for Nanny's Rosh Hashanah Apple Cake »Matt Taylor-Gross
Concord Grape Pie

Concord Grape Pie

This recipe comes from the so-called Grape Pie Queen of Naples, New York, Irene Bouchard. She started baking these sweet pies in the early '70's.Helen Rosner
Apple and Cranberry Upside-Down Cakes

Apple and Cranberry Upside-Down Cakes

If you find yourself with a surplus of fresh cranberries, these elegant cakes are the perfect solution. They can be cooked in individual miniature pans, or in a single skillet for convenience.Khushbu Shah
Icelandic shortbread and prune jam layer cake

Shortbread and Prune Jam Layer Cake (Vínarterta)

This special-occasion cake features layers of cardamom-scented shortbread baked until golden and lightly crisp, sandwiching homemade prune filling under a thin coffee glaze.Ingalls Photography

Pumpkin, Pecan, and Gingersnap Ice Cream

Layered with gingersnap cookies and pecans, this refreshing ice cream has all the spicy sweet flavors of pumpkin pie.Helen Rosner
Classic Apple Pie

Classic Apple Pie

Simple and delicious, this recipe brings out the sweet flavor of the apples.James Oseland
Poached Pears

Port Wine Poached Pears

Poaching Bosc pears in port wine turns them a beautiful, vibrant red.André Baranowski
Plum Strudel

Plum Strudel

This satisfying pastry layers plum preserves and walnuts for a gooey, crumbly cake.Todd Coleman
Vanilla-Scented Quince and Pear Pie

Vanilla-Scented Quince and Pear Pie

This sweet, tart fruit pie is a beautiful showcase for the flavors of fall and winter. It's great on a holiday table, and is at its best when served alongside a plate of cheese: the rich quince flavor balances beautifully with a wedge of funky, crumbly blue beside it on the plate.Helen Rosner
Apple Crumble with Hot Custard

Apple Crumble with Hot Custard

We enjoyed this warm and comforting dessert while visiting a sheep farm in new Zealand. Get the recipe for Apple Crumble with Hot Custard »Matt Taylor-Gross