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Fall in love with autumn desserts

fall flavor seasonal dessert

Summer fruits get all the glory, but fall produce can be just as sweet on dessert menus.

The autumn season provides an opportunity to populate menus with comforting sweet treats that make guests feel all warm and fuzzy. With more than half of consumers highly interested in seasonal desserts, according to Chicago-based research firm Datassential, desserts starring fall produce are a can’t-miss opportunity.

Fall is often synonymous with flavors such as pumpkin and apple, and classic desserts such as pies, cupcakes and donuts remain popular in the dessert segment. More than 50 percent of consumers crave nostalgic desserts such as these, according to Datassential, so marrying these applications with on-trend flavors such as pumpkin, red velvet and bread pudding can generate excitement.

Pumpkin flavors, in particular, have grown by 10 percent each year for the last five years, according to Chicago-based research firm Mintel. To meet consumer demand, several chains have expanded their pumpkin selections. Longhorn Steakhouse, for example, offers a pumpkin spice lava cake, and Dunkin’ Donuts included a pumpkin cheesecake square on its fall menu this year. Similarly, Cracker Barrel is introducing a custard-based dessert with pumpkin and gingersnaps.

But although pumpkin is clearly the star ingredient at this time of year, it also pays to take advantage of other seasonal produce, including peach, pears, radicchio, cranberries, ginger and squash. Take note from New York City-based élan, a contemporary American restaurant that serves up pound cake topped with squash, pear slices and caramelized white ganache.

Here are a few more restaurants that are offering a fresh take on fall desserts.

Abacus
Dallas
Peaches For Me: Brown-sugar roasted peaches, yellow & white peach coulis, peach cobbler ice cream, candied pecan crunch; $12

Craftsman & Wolves
San Francisco
Pear Tart Modern: Pear tart, olive oil namelaka, brown sugar tart shell; $4.50

Mindy’s Hot Chocolate
Chicago
Framboise Red Velvet Cake: Cream cheese orange blossom ice cream, local raspberries, raspberry tea sorbet, framboise pinwheel, pistachios; $13

This post is sponsored by Knouse Foodservice

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