This story is part of our Best Pastry Chefs of 2013 feature.

Jesmary Sbraga was lured to a career in pastry by a love of precision. "Desserts are all about exactness to me. Everything is a recipe; everything is a science to master," she says.

This outlook might limit others, but for Sbraga, who works alongside her husband, Kevin, at their eponymous Philadelphia restaurant, it's the key to creativity. Birthday cake, for example, is frozen and pulverized before coming to the table, a cloud of sugary, brain-freezing granules served with chocolate ice cream.

Sbraga's dessert pays due diligence to the "tart" in lemon tart: The citrus' acidity is played against the tart angles of cultured cream; blueberries keep the opposing pucker-worthy flavors in check.