As the calendar creeps toward Halloween, chefs feel compelled to include at least one item featuring pumpkin on their dessert menus. The ubiquitous orange gourd seems to flavor almost everything at this time of year, but in the hands of a skilled baker, pumpkin is just what we want it to be: lightly sweet, fragrantly spiced, earthy and rich. This is prime pumpkin dessert season and pastry chefs at Portland-area restaurants are making the most of it. Feast your eyes on these five distinctive sweets featuring autumn’s favorite fruit (yes, pumpkin is a fruit!).
Photos by Ted Axelrod/Axelrod Photography
Pumpkin dessert tasting: zeppole; ice cream; creme brulee with candied pumpkin
Pumpkin souffle with hand-whipped cinnamon cream
Pumpkin-spice cake with cream cheese frosting