Pastry Chef Kierin Baldwin of The Dutch may be best known for pie (she was crowned New York's Pie "champion" by the Times last year). But her other desserts can be just as good, like these fried-to-order Pumpkin Doughnuts ($11).
The cake doughnuts arrive piping hot with thin but crispy skins that give way to a moist and lightly baked interior. The pumpkin flavor is subtle, the crumb smooth, and the cinnamon sugar coating enlivened with a touch of salt.
The accompanying bowl of ginger pudding with caramelized apples and candied hazelnuts is complete (and delicious) enough to be a stand-alone dessert. The pudding's ginger flavor is subtle at first, but wait for it, it'll build. The pudding base is refreshingly low in sweetness and the caramelized apples, which I loved, reminded me of a slightly chewier pate de fruit. Candied hazelnuts and a single candied sage leaf add crunch and salty contrast.
It's a perfect winter dessert, and will be be available for at least another two weeks, but don't wait too long.
About the author: Native New Yorker Niko Triantafillou is the founder of DessertBuzz.com his photographs of desserts and pastry chefs have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Dessert Professional Magazine. He is an unabashed foodie nerdling. Follow him on Twitter at @DessertBuzz.