Thanksgiving Table: Caitlin Mociun

To celebrate Thanksgiving this year, we’ve invited some of our favorite artists, designers, shop owners and tastemakers to create Thanksgiving table settings with their favorite objects and styles. Today, we’re delighted to showcase a table created by Brooklyn-based jewelry designer and shop owner Caitlin Mociun. The table might be relatively minimal, but its emphasis on handcrafted objects lends it a sense of warmth and soft beauty. “I took the same approach to this table as I do with my store,” Caitlin says. “Using a combination of different designers together with art objects to create an unexpected arrangement where one might expect it to be wholly familiar. In hopes that the viewer/spectator/‘dinner guest’ has a new experience, sees their environment as a place to create, make discoveries, and be playful.” — Max

Continue after the jump for more photos and a special recipe from Van Leeuwen Ice Cream!

Featured Items (available at Caitlin Mociun):

  • Tart/pie dish — Robert Blue
  • Knife — Santa Fe Stoneworks
  • Napkins — Lebico Linens
  • Southwestern glaze plates and bowls — Robert Blue
  • White plates and bowls — Eric Bonnin
  • Spoons and small tumblers — Suzanne Sullivan
  • Cookie holder — Sculpture by Morgan Peck
  • Vase — Janet Williams
  • Star dish (holding small tumbler) — Shino Takeda
  • Sculls, hand painted paper flowers and ceramic sandwiches — Genesis Balenger
  • Small white platter (holding two larger sandwiches) — Eric Bonnin


Hazelnut Apple Cranberry Tart Recipe (courtesy of Van Leeuwen Ice Cream)

Hazelnut Sable Tart Dough

  • 7 ounces butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, sifted
  • 8 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 ounces hazelnut meal
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt


Cream the butter and powdered sugar with the paddle attachment of an electric mixer. Add egg to butter and sugar and scrape down the bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, hazelnut meal and salt; add last. Dough should be completely blended. Flatten dough into a disc and wrap in plastic film. Chill dough for one hour. Remove the dough from the plastic; leave at room temperature for 5 minutes before you begin to roll it out. Flour the surface with a light dusting of flour, and flour the rolling pin a bit, as well. Roll the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. Lightly spray your pie plate with pan spray and line with the dough, pushing the edge of the dough into the corners of the pan with the edge of your thumb. Using a paring knife or kitchen scissors, cut away the excess dough from the top of the pan to make a clean edge. Freeze the tart shell for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line frozen tart shell with tin foil and fill with pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes or until the tart edges are very light brown. Remove pie weights, and bake for 5 more minutes. Chill, and the tart is ready for filling.

Hazelnut Frangipane

  • 8 ounces hazelnut meal
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces butter, room temperature


Place all ingredients in a food processor with the blade attachment and process until completely smooth. Chill frangipane for an hour before using.

To assemble the tart

Fill tart shell with frangipane and smooth out with a small offset spatula. Slice an apple in neat and even 1/4 inch slices. Assemble apples atop the frangipane in a circular pattern, overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle tart with granulated sugar. Bake the tart for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees until the frangipane is baked through. Take a half-cup of fresh cranberries and slice them in half. Sprinkle the cranberry halves with granulated sugar and broil or torch until caramelized, being careful not to burn the berries. Toss candied cranberries on tart with some chopped, toasted hazelnuts. Cool tart completely, slice and serve with Van Leeuwen’s Vanilla Ice Cream!

  1. Mary says:

    Love the pottery – this is a beautful table. Thanks for sharing. Question about the recipe – would flour be an okay substitution for hazelnut meal?

  2. Handmade items add such warmth and personality to a table. They are wonderful conversation pieces and a great way ‘to break the ice’ if guests don’t know one another.

  3. Naomi says:

    So wonderful! – I am a diehard Mociun fan. Caitlin’s eye is incredible. I love the earthy turquoises.

  4. Yelle says:

    Love all of the natural textures, and that pie made my mouth water!

  5. Gypsee says:

    That pie looks heavenly and so appropriate for fall!

  6. Baldai says:

    All dishes looks great. Not symmetrical and well-detailed, but so perfect!

  7. Mirandasea says:

    OMG, this hand-made items are so nice. Can i tweet this post on Twitter? I love them soooooooooooooooo much!

  8. My favorite table setting so far! What a fabulous post.

  9. Bravo Caitlin! Beautiful work as always. I love that this table is not unlike one that might be set in your own home. Every object precious and beautiful, every dish made from whole ingredients is decadent and delicious. Your emphasis on a meal as a shared and loving experience has always inspired me.

  10. Caro says:

    Van Leeuwen and Mociun – representing some of Brooklyn’s best.

  11. This is very cozy and familiar from more simple days. Will try the tart…oh, well…


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.