As much as we enjoy cake and pie, sometimes a simpler dish is most welcome at the end of a big meal. Each of these fruit-based recipes is lighter than most traditional holiday desserts (several are also gluten free or vegan), yet there's no sacrifice in flavor or festive color. We also love how they really showcase the season's jewels, from quinces to cranberries and pears to persimmons. TOP ROW
• 1 Cranberry-Poached Pears, from Martha Stewart. Also check out Poached Pears and Red Wine Syrup and Baked Pear Dumplings.
• 2 Sugar-Roasted Plums with Balsamic and Rosemary Syrup, from Cooking Light. Also see our recipe for Poached Whole Plums with Brown Sugar Syrup.
• 3 Baked Persimmons, from The Kitchn
• 4 Sparkling Oranges, from Sunset
• 5 Baked Apples with Cranberry Molasses Bread Pudding, from Sunset
• 6 Marsala Baked Quince, from Vogue Entertaining and Travel
• 7 Cranberry-Vanilla Compote with Orange Ice, from Martha Stewart
• 8 Fruit Gratin with Calvados and Mascarpone, from Gourmet
• 9 Red-Fruit Puddings, from Gourmet
• 10 Baked Figs in Lemon Syrup, from Gourmet
(Image: MarthaStewart.com, Becky Luigart-Stayner/Cooking Light, Emily Ho, James Carrier/Sunset, Leigh Beisch/Sunset, Ben Dearnley/Vogue, MarthaStewart.com, Richard Gerhard Jung/Gourmet, John Kernick/Gourmet, Andrea Fazzari/Gourmet)