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eat

Autumn Harvest

Taste the change of season with autumnal fruits that can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes… even better if you can pick them for free if you’re lucky enough to have trees in your garden!

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Blackberries

You’ve probably already seen them growing on the hedgerows, plump and ripe from this year’s long summer sunshine – a good indicator that this year’s blackberries will be a fine crop! If you can’t get out to pick your own, then store-bought berries are equally delicious and a welcome addition to many autumnal dishes, such as crumbles, pies and even savoury salads and game dishes.

Try this: for a cost-saving exercise, try adding blackberries to your morning porridge or smoothie instead of blueberries – seasonally grown foods are a great way to cut down on food bills.

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Plums

The plum season traditionally runs from July until September depending on the variety you choose. And did you know, there’s more to plums than Victoria or marjorie seedling? Clive’s Fruit Farm, down the road from our Warner’s store in Upton-upon-Severn, has 19 varieties of plums that are ripe for PYO, including little-known names such as Herman, Haganta, Yellow Egg, Edda, and Jojo!

Try this: use up a glut of damsons by making your own damson gin. All you need is a litre of gin (nothing too expensive!), 250g sugar and 500g damsons. It’s best to freeze the damsons first then put everything together in a kilner jar and give it a shake every day for a week until the sugar dissolves. Then it’s the longer you leave it the better – if you start now you’ll have damson gin in time for Christmas!

Apples

Nothing typifies autumn like the sight of a heaving orchard, full of apple trees laden down with rusty red or glossy green globes, all ripe for the picking. The best way to experience this bounty is at one of our local PYO farms – at Clive’s Fruit Farm alone there are around 30 apple varieties to try – not only do they taste amazing, it’s an important way to try to preserve the heritage apple varieties that have been grown in our area for centuries.

Try this: stewed apples may sound very seventies, but it’s actually a great thing to have in the fridge to pile onto yoghurt or porridge in the mornings or under ice cream or custard in the evenings! Simply peel, core and slice whatever apples you are using and put in a pan with a couple of spoonfuls of brown sugar, lemon juice and a dash of cinnamon. Cook for around 8 minutes and whizz to your desired consistency.

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Pears

Finding a perfectly ripe pear can be a challenge – pick it too soon and they are still hard and crunchy, leave it too long and you’ve missed a very small window to find pear perfection. Luckily, the pears you find in store are all perfectly ripe so you know you can enjoy them as soon as you get home – pair them with anything that has an almond flavour such as a frangipane, enjoy with strong cheeses in a salad or with biscuits or poach them in a little marsala wine.

Try this: pears are delicious roasted alongside any cut of pork – try adding them to a tray of pork chops with chopped red onion, a little cider (or perry) or a splash of apple juice.