Every year you make fancy pies for Thanksgiving dessert, and but the family is always too stuffed to eat them. Don't forget that the harvest includes many fruits and vegetables beyond pumpkin. All of these desserts can be made ahead and will offer a flavorful and lighter finish to a harvest feast.

Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet

(Makes four 1/2-cup servings)

This conversation-stopping, magenta-colored sorbet intermingles the bold flavor of red wine with the tartness of blackberries. I prefer to use Cabernet, but Merlot and Zinfandel also work well.

In advance: Freeze the finished sorbet for up to 1 week.

1 cup granulated sugar

11/2 cups red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Zinfandel

2 cups (about 12 ounces) fresh or frozen, thawed blackberries

Pinch salt

In a nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the sugar and wine to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until it reduces to about 3/4 cup of syrup, 15 to 20 minutes. As the syrup thickens, you may need to reduce the heat to medium-low or low to avoid it bubbling over or scorching. (It is helpful to have ready a heat-resistant glass measuring cup to measure the syrup and then pour it back into the pot if necessary.)

If using an ice bath: Have ready a large bowl of ice water. Place the bottom of the pan in the ice bath and set aside until cooled completely.

If refrigerating overnight: Pour the syrup into a bowl and set aside to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In a food processor or blender, puree the blackberries until smooth. You should have about 11/2 cups of puree. Strain the mixture, discarding the seeds. You should have about 1 cup of puree.

In a large bowl, combine the wine syrup, berry puree and salt and stir well. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. (If not serving immediately, transfer to an airtight container and freeze.)

Per serving: 298 calories, 1 gm protein, 59 gm carbohydrates, trace fat, 0 mg cholesterol, trace saturated fat, 79 mg sodium, 4 gm dietary fiber

Cranberry Sorbet

(Makes six 1/2-cup servings)

Despite a flashy hot-pink hue, this sorbet is actually rather soothing thanks to the cranberries' refreshing tartness.

In advance: Freeze the finished sorbet for up to 1 week.

2 cups fresh or frozen, thawed whole cranberries

3 cups water

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pinch salt

In a nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cranberries, water, sugar, lemon juice and salt to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the cranberries are very soft and falling apart, about 15 minutes. Strain the mixture, discarding the skins and seeds.

If using an ice bath: Have ready a large bowl of ice water. Place the bottom of the pan in the ice bath and set aside until cooled completely.

If refrigerating overnight: Pour the mixture into a bowl and set aside to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. (If not serving immediately, transfer to an airtight container and freeze.)

Per serving: 142 calories, trace protein, 37 gm carbohydrates, trace fat, 0 mg cholesterol, trace saturated fat, 47 mg sodium, 2gm dietary fiber

Orange Hazelnut Shortbread

(Makes about 48 cookies)

These crisp, delicate cookies are fairly overflowing with citrus and hazelnuts. The adult-style cookies make an elegant accompaniment to coffee, sorbet or ice cream.

In advance: Shape the dough into a log or a rectangle and freeze for up to 3 weeks; thaw in the refrigerator. Keep the baked cookies, covered, at room temperature for up to 1 day.

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

13/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup toasted, finely ground hazelnuts*

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons finely chopped, freshly grated orange zest

In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour, hazelnuts, salt and orange zest and mix just until the flour is completely incorporated and the dough pulls together.

Place a large sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap on a work surface, scrape the dough onto the paper and use the wrap to help you form the dough into a rectangle, square or a log (depending on the desired shape). Wrap tightly and refrigerate until chilled through, at least 2 hours. (May double-wrap in plastic and freeze for up to 3 weeks.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To form slices: Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into cookies about 1/4-inch thick. Place the cookies about 1/2 inch apart on the prepared sheet.

To form shapes: On a lightly floured surface using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes. Place the cookies about 1/2 inch apart on the prepared sheet and freeze for about 15 minutes prior to baking.

Bake the cookies until the edges are slightly golden and the middle is firm to the touch, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack to cool for 3 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

* Note: To toast the nuts, spread them on a baking sheet and place them in a 350-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes; shake the pan occasionally. Watch the nuts closely; they burn quickly. While they're still warm, dump them onto a damp towel and rub vigorously to remove the skins. Set aside to cool. To grind the nuts, transfer them to a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Do not blend until a paste forms.

Per cookie: 68 calories, 1 gm protein, 6 gm carbohydrates, 5 gm fat, 11 mg cholesterol, 3 gm saturated fat, 12 mg sodium, trace dietary fiber

Pear and Ginger Crisp

(8 to 10 servings)

When in need of a fast dessert fix, I bake a fruit crisp. It's simple to toss together and the spicy crumb mixture atop the sweetened fruit makes a certain crowd pleaser, especially when served with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

I prefer to use Bartlett or Anjou pears.

In advance: Keep the baked crisp, covered, at room temperature for up to 1 day. To reheat, cover and heat in a 300-degree oven until warmed through. Mix and freeze the topping separately for up to 3 months. (I like to make twice the amount of topping necessary and store half in the freezer for the next time I make a crisp. )

For the topping:

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold, plus additional for the baking dish

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch salt

1/2 cup (2 ounces) chopped walnuts

1 cup oats (either whole or quick cooking)

For the filling:

3/4 cup granulated sugar

Pinch salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons cornstarch

6 cups pears (about 7), peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen and thawed cranberries (optional)

For the topping: Cut the butter into 1/4-inch cubes. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender or 2 knives held crisscross fashion, blend until well combined but still crumbly and somewhere between the consistency of coarse meal and small peas. Add the walnuts and oats and stir until well combined. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

For the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch or other 4-quart baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, salt, ginger and cornstarch. Add the pears and, if using, the cranberries and toss gently to combine. Transfer the pear mixture to the baking dish and sprinkle evenly with the topping.

Bake until the topping is crisp and golden brown and fruit is soft, 45 to 55 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly prior to serving.

Per serving (based on 10): 353 calories, 5 gm protein, 54 gm carbohydrates, 14 gm fat, 26 mg cholesterol, 7 gm saturated fat, 61 mg sodium, 5 gm dietary fiber

Carolyn B. Weil is a baking instructor in northern California and a contributor to "The Baker's Dozen Cookbook." Her next book "Pies and Tarts," for the Williams-Sonoma Collection, will be published in spring 2003.