Forest Feast Gatherings: A Sweet Ending and Easy Tray Centerpieces


The Novel Bakers are back with more feasting and gathering from The Forest Feast Gatherings: Simple Vegetarian Menus for Hosting Friends & Family by Erin Gleeson. Lushly illustrated with hundreds of watercolor drawings and photographs, The Forest Feast Gatherings is an inspiring reference for anyone who wants to share good food with good friends, simply, easily, and beautifully.

If you missed part one with The Novel Bakers, you can find it, here.


There is so much to feast on in this book! I chose a couple of quick and easy desserts to end on a sweet note, a Pear-Thyme Galette!


A galette is a rustic, free-form tart-made with a single crust of pastry. You can use refrigerated pie crust or frozen puff pastry to make a quick galette.


We loved this combination of flavors!

Ingredients needed for this easy and delicious galette are:

Puff pastry, fig jam, Gorgonzola or blue cheese, sliced pears, walnuts, fresh thyme, honey, and butter.


Follow the directions on the package of puff pastry for thawing. Lay your pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet or silicone baking mat and snip off the corners. Spread a thin layer of fig jam over your pastry, leaving a small border.


Slice your pears, (no need to peel) and fan them out in a spiral pattern over the jam, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, Gorgonzola crumbles, thyme leaves and the honey-butter mixture. Fold the edges of the dough over to form a round tart.


Bake at 400° F for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and use a spoon to remove any excess juices.


You can adapt this galette using your fruit of choice or in season, substitute apricot jam for fig, or use a different cheese like Brie for the Gorgonzola, as in this Apple & Honey Galette with Brie and Pomegranate Seeds from The Forest Feast.


Along with easy desserts, there are several tips and inspiration for easy entertaining in The Forest Feast Gatherings, including creating a centerpiece on a platter! This is so easy and timely for a last minute addition to your Thanksgiving table or buffet!


Gather your veggies and/or fruit along with a few flowers that will withstand being out of water for several hours or use florist water tubes to insert your blooms and tuck them among your materials to camouflage them.


I used a round tray with some pillar candles in the center.


I filled in around the pillars using artichokes, apples, pomegranates and hydrangeas from my floral/edible table runner.


You can make an easy centerpiece using a tray, urn, or cake pedestal.


I placed a pedestal on a tray, using grapes, pears, pomegranates, apples, artichokes, hydrangeas and nuts.


The hydrangeas have already reached the stage to dry and the mums will last without water, tucked in among the fruit.




I used the same tray for a table centerpiece with pillars, artichokes, mini pumpkins, mums, nuts and green and blush colored blooms cut from the abelia shrubs.



Salted Fudge with Cinnamon was quick and easy and would make a great hostess gift or party favor.





3 cups sugar

1 1/2 cup butter

2/3 cup evaporated milk

12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

7 oz. marshmallow creme

1 teaspoon cinnamon (I doubled the amount from 1/2 teaspoon)

Flaked sea salt


Mix sugar, butter and evaporated milk in saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.


Reduce heat to low and add chocolate chips, marshmallow creme and cinnamon, stirring until well combined and marshmallow creme and chips are melted.


Pour into a parchment lined 9  x 13 pan. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and allow to cool in freezer until hard (about 15 minutes) or refrigerate several hours or overnight until set.


Using the parchment, pull fudge out of pan in a whole block and transfer to cutting board. Cut into squares. Makes 40 – 48 bite-size squares.


Can be made ahead up to a few days in advance or a few weeks ahead and frozen.

You can find a printable recipe, here.


Visit Novel Bakers Jain, Michael Lee, and Linda for a taste of The Forest Feast Gatherings

a quiet life

Rattlebridge Farm

More Fun Less Laundry


Thank you for your visit, also sharing with:

 Metamorphosis MondayThe Scoop,
Wow Us Wednesdays,
Tablescape ThursdayFoodie Friday

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  27 comments for “Forest Feast Gatherings: A Sweet Ending and Easy Tray Centerpieces

  1. Ellen Stillabower
    November 16, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Everything looks delicious!! Thanks for some new recipes!!! 😋😋😋😋

  2. Diane
    November 16, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Thank you for this book…I am going to get it for my daughter as she is a vegetarian and I know she will love it. The two recipes you have today look yummy!

  3. November 16, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Gorgonzola makes everything better….one of our favorites! I love your pretty centerpieces. They are simple, yet pretty! And they’re perfect for Thanksgiving.

  4. Diane
    November 16, 2016 at 7:59 am

    As always looks absolutely stunning! Thanks for the recipes, can’t wait to try!

  5. Laura Heywood
    November 16, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I have her first book and can’t wait to buy this one!

  6. November 16, 2016 at 8:43 am

    The pear thyme tart is going on our Christmas menu Mary, fig-pear-bleu cheese-pastry, swoon! Your photos are outstanding, and the fudge with the flaky sea salt, yes please! It’s all simple, easy and perfect :)

  7. November 16, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Mary, I love sweets and both sound and look delicious. The centerpiece is beautiful and easy enough for anyone to do…thanks for all of the inspiration that you share!

  8. November 16, 2016 at 8:50 am

    I was so busy drooling I forgot to mention your stunning centerpieces of flowers, vegetables and candles Mary! They are all gorgeous, but I especially loved the apples and pears with the tiny blooms and berries tucked in…Thank you for another wonderful adventure with the Novel Bakers!

  9. November 16, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Mary, I have all the ingredients ready for this galette and after seeing all the beautiful results from the Novel Bakers I think I will take it to a Thanksgiving gathering! It would be perfect and I know these simple recipes are also delicious. I’d like to pluck some grapes from your centerpiece! Your color palette of the poms, pears, apples and nuts with a bit of green from the artichokes and hydrangea, and the pop of luscious burgundy from the mums is stunning. Salted chocolate is always a great idea, and your fudge came out so perfectly! Your photo of the little squares piled on the wooden dish is making me drool. This was a wonderful book and you have captured its essence so perfectly! Linda

  10. mary
    November 16, 2016 at 9:13 am

    No pictures are appearing on your posts> Any idea what is happening. They all
    sound so gorgeous!

    • November 16, 2016 at 9:35 am

      Hi Mary, I just clicked over via my smart phone, Ipad and laptop and all the images are showing. Try refreshing the page or clearing your browser cache and cookies :)

    • November 16, 2016 at 9:40 am

      If that doesn’t work there is a troubleshooting guide and tips, HERE.

  11. a quiet life
    November 16, 2016 at 9:43 am

    girl you know i love that galette! love how your ingredients just landed on a forest floor and magically turned into heaven ;-) i ADORE the sliced shot, spectacular!

    your hydrangeas are so pretty, i miss all i have to offer from home, but its still joyful seeing all your fun! its like looking at ca with all you shared. i love the subtle colors of the white pumpkins and artichokes, a beautiful understated combination.

    groan… you made the fudge! i didn’t on purpose, i knew i would eat the entire pan in one sitting :-( i made the spicy nuts thinking they wouldn’t suit my sweet tooth, let me tell you cayenne is a winner! my mouth is sweating looking at this fudge… dang i know i gotta make it now!

    oh what a wonderful way to kick start my morning, thinking of how to make fudge in the next 30 minutes before my day begins! thanks so much for playing this week, it was extra special that erin stopped by making this all the sweeter for all of us!

  12. November 16, 2016 at 9:45 am

    So much beauty, and that book is gorgeous ♥

  13. November 16, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Mary! Mary! Your luscious photos are gorgeous. I am so jealous your hydrangeas are still so pretty. MIne are all dark brown. Love the pear galette! All the ingredients are favorites and together would be fabulous! Pinning your lovely images.
    Your centerpieces are stunning and I like that they are something I could do.
    The fudge looks decadent and I want to reach inside my computer screen and get a piece.
    Thank you for another delightul Novel Bakers post.

  14. November 16, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Your pear galette looks fabulous, Mary! Also, the fudge with cinnamon would make me so happy for a sweet ending to a meal. I’ve never used flaked sea salt, but it looks so pretty sprinkled on top. Your centerpieces on trays on just so pretty and easy….love them as much as your edible runners! Have a beautiful day!

  15. November 16, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Love starting my day with desserts! I’d like a bag or two of those yummy sea salt chocolates, please. I promise to save them for later. For now, I’ll have one of those gorgeous pear galettes. It will pair perfectly with my morning coffee. Instant breakfast! Thank you very much, Mary!
    Beautiful post to start my day on this gorgeous November morning in Texas.

  16. November 16, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    What a stunning post, I love everything about it, especially those gorgeous centerpieces! I love The Forest Feast Blog, I need to buy the cookbook, it looks like a lot of fun.

  17. rattlebridge farm
    November 16, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    What a gorgeous ending to the week, Mary! Your galette looks scrumptious, with its beautifully shaped pastry and pinwheeled pears. I’m forbidden figs and nuts, which is heart-tugging, lol, but my husband ate both galettes and said they were keepers. The ingredient primer is so stunning, I’d love to frame it. Your centerpiece was spun from your magic, lush and fresh, just perfect for any spot, not just the table. The fudge is going on my list (I’m on clear liquids this week, and it has been torture to not eat any of these goodies) for Thanksgiving. I may eat the whole pan at a single sitting. Your photos are filled with magic, Carolina light, and grace. I so loved playing with you this week, and I’m looking forward to the SL book for Christmas. See you at Foodie Friday, my dear!

  18. rattlebridge farm
    November 16, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Mary, while you were visiting me, I was visiting you–eating fudge, drinking in the water views, and playing with the fur people. I hope you can visit me for realsies one day!

  19. Lanita Anderson
    November 19, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    I have that fudge recipe, but never thought about adding salt…..thanks for the great tip, as well as how to package them for a cute gift idea! Also loved the centerpieces – so pretty!

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