11 Perfect Valentine’s Day Desserts That Aren’t Chocolate

Chocolate haters: You’re wrong. But also, you deserve happiness.

1. Orange Ricotta Pillows with Lillet Kumquat Compote

James Ransom /

Delicate crepes. Creamy ricotta filling. Fancy compote. Yes. Get the recipe on Food52.

2. Brown Butter Waffle Cake with Sorghum Meringue Buttercream

Beth Kirby /

Just in case you’re celebrating Galentine’s DayGet the recipe on Food52.

3. Chilled Oranges in Rum-Caramel Syrup

James Ransom /

Easy. Stylish. Chill. Get the recipe on Food52.

4. Raspberry Custard Cups

The lovechild of raspberry cheesecake and crème brûlée. Get the recipe on Food52.

5. Pink Peppercorn Buttercream

James Ransom /

This is the perfect Valentine: sweet, but with a little spice. Get the recipe on Food52.

6. Grape, Almond, and Olive Oil Cake

James Ransom /

One mixing bowl, infinite elegance. Get the recipe on Food52.

7. Cranberry-Ginger Jam Donuts

Yossy Arefi /

Light and fluffy donuts. Sticky and sweet jam. Delicious and powdery sugar. Get in our bellies. Get the recipe on Food52.

8. Fregolotta (Italian Jam and Shortbread Tart)

James Ransom /

Cookie cake for grownups. Get the recipe on Food52.

9. Burnt Caramel Pudding

Luxurious. Silken. Burnt has never been so appealing. Get the recipe on Food52.

10. Drunken Honeyed Figs with Lemon Mascarpone Whipped Cream

James Ransom /

If you’re looking to seduce, look no further. Get the recipe on Food52.

11. Red Wine Poached Pears

Eric Moran /

Fine, hate chocolate. But if you don’t like red wine either, you can’t sit with us.

Serves 6

4 cups red wine (we use an inexpensive, medium-dry wine)
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 cup orange juice
Peels from 1 orange
2 cinnamon sticks
A small handful of thyme
6 firm but ripe pears, peeled, cored, stems left intact (or just peeled)

Combine everything save for the pears in a large, heavy saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer. Add pears, and bring everything back up to a simmer.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer slowly until pears are tender when pierced with knife, about 25 minutes. (But start checking at 20 minutes! Depending on the ripeness of your pears, this could take slightly less or more time.)

Transfer pears to a plate or platter. Boil liquid in saucepan until reduced to 3 cups, about 20 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead — just cover and chill pears in the poaching liquid. Before serving, rewarm over medium-low heat until pears are heated through, or simply serve them at room temperature.)

If you like, reserve one cup of the poaching liquid and reduce it down into a syrup to use for drizzling when you serve. Or, serve with vanilla ice cream.

Save and print the recipe on Food52.

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