Fall fruits this early autumn
September heralds the start of autumn, with the days shortening noticeably and cooler temperatures becoming the norm. As we look around the vegetable garden, we can see that things are starting to slow down and crops are becoming thinner. All is not lost, however, as early autumn is an abundant time when it comes to fruit. Even if you don’t have any fruit trees or bushes in your garden, you can still enjoy nature’s fruit harvest. There are plenty of delicious wild fruits available in hedgerows just waiting to be picked, with many of the fruits available at this time of year perfect for preserving. It is definitely time to go out foraging for some autumn fruits.
Fall fruits for jams and jellies
The most common fruit available at this time of year is, of course, the blackberry. Readily available in hedgerows throughout the countryside, and often in towns and cities, the blackberry is a versatile free gift from Mother Nature. Make blackberry fool or blackberry Eton mess to enjoy them fresh; next, make blackberry and vanilla jam or blackberry jelly.
Apples also start to come into season at this time of year. Apples freeze well – if you have a glut, stock your freezer and enjoy apples throughout the year. Apple jam with cinnamon is a delicious wintery jam and, of course, apples team up perfectly with blackberries to make apple and blackberry jam. You can also make apple sauce and store it in Kilner jars to use with pork dishes through the winter.
If you don’t have your own apple tree, why not go foraging for crab apples to make crab apple jelly? Elderberries are also available in the hedgerows at this time of year and make the most delicious jelly to serve with cold meats and cheeses.
Fall fruits for drinks
If you fancy making something to drink rather than jams and jellies, there are several autumn fruits to choose from. Sloes are the obvious choice, of course, to make delicious sloe gin ready to enjoy at Christmas. For something a little different, try blackberry vodka – the technique is just the same as for sloe gin. If you have plenty of elderberries, you could make elderberry wine and elderberry jelly.
For a non-alcoholic drink, try mixing elderberries with blackberries to make a fabulous cordial. On a cold autumn day, this cordial is really warming when diluted with hot water.
Grab a basket, pick some autumn fruits and get preserving!