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About The Author


Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: October 21, 2013

Portland pastry chefs give pumpkin a starring role

Written by: Susan Axelrod

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

Sea Glass at Inn by the Sea

Pumpkin dessert tasting: zeppole; ice cream; creme brulee with candied pumpkin

Five Fifty-Five

Pumpkin souffle with hand-whipped cinnamon cream


Pumpkin-spice cake with cream cheese frosting

East Ender

Fried pumpkin ravioli with caramel sauce and brown butter ice cream

El Rayo Taqueria

Pumpkin-cajeta pie

Soup to Nuts: Skip the pumpkin latte and try some of these lucious pumpkin desserts via

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