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Blithe bites


Chef Quinn Carroll with sweet potato pie
BY: Mark Hancock

Luckily, eateries across the metro cater to these fall foodies and their seasonal sweet tooth cravings.

For a pie filling that was once relegated to Thanksgiving Day, pumpkin and pumpkin spice have captured the attention of taste buds, and now people can’t get enough.

A simple slice of pie isn’t going to cut it anymore, and local businesses have recognized this demand.

Pumpkin has come a long way from once-a-year pumpkin carvings or something that unruly teens smash in the streets on Halloween.

Those seeking a frozen treat need look no further than Custard Factory, 1000 E. Alameda St. in Norman. It’s a little shop that can satisfy any sweet craving with its signature sundaes, specialty concretes, malts, floats and cones.

The store gets in a festive mood with the pumpkin custard. Owner Rusty Rasmussen said the specialty ice creamery has sold it for the past 12 years, and that it has always been the signature fall flavor.

Typically, when weather turns a bit chilly, people aren’t looking for a frosty dessert. Unless that dessert tastes like Thanksgiving in a scoop.

“It’s what keeps us going in the fall,” Rasmussen said.

In past years, Custard Factory has sold it in October and November, but this year, the crave-worthy flavor became available in September and will stay through Christmas.

The unique custard is a secret recipe and is only shared with those who work at Custard Factory.

Those looking for a festive treat should try the pumpkin pie sundae, which uses the specialty pumpkin custard, pie crust and whipped cream, or the jack-o’-lantern, made with pumpkin custard, coffee and pieces of Heath Bar.

Pumpkin custard at Custard Factory
BY: Mark Hancock

Cheever’s Cafe in Oklahoma City gets into the mood for fall, as well. Jenny Kress, restaurant manager at 2409 N. Hudson Ave., echoed the same level of excitement about one of its brand-new seasonal offerings: a sweet potato pie.

Created by chef de cuisine Quinn Carroll, this dessert is topped with spiced pecans and served with a house-made toasted marshmallow and sun-dried cherry ice cream.

With the new fall menu announced in September, Cheever’s chefs promised to utilize ingredients only available this time of year, as well as satisfy those sweater-weather cravings.

Sara Sara Cupcakes is prepared for the season at all three locations with the rollout of its country pumpkin cupcake. It’s topped with cream cheese frosting and pumpkin seeds, and ravaged pumpkin patches is a small price to pay for a pleased palate.

For more mature autumn flavor cravings, there’s Battered Boar Brewing Company’s Chucks Pumpkin Ale and Chocolate Cherry Porter. The pumpkin ale is made with Oklahoma sugar pumpkins, Oklahoma pecans and brown sugar and vanilla, and is brewed at the Battered Boar Brewing Company in Edmond, 14801 Metro Plaza Blvd.

“It’s the only real pumpkin ale brewed in the state,” said brewmaster/owner of Battered Boar, Mike Sandefur. “We’re the only ones who use real sugar pumpkins.”

Pumpkin isn’t the only taste that evokes a festive spirit, though.

Battered Boar crafts a porter, made with Venezuelan Ocumare chocolate and fresh cherries — the same cherries used in Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream. So, even if a pumpkin patch or fall produce harvest isn’t in the future, the Chocolate Cherry Porter and Chucks Pumpkin Ale are available in many metro-area liquor stores.

As the leaves turn, be on the lookout for autumn options to satisfy the cravings and celebrate the yearly festive spirit.

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