Thursday, 1 September 2016

What's in season in September?

Ah September... as we drift into this month summer starts to fade and become a distant memory.  If we're lucky in the UK we'll still have a few warm days but generally the cardies are going on and someone in the family starts looking wistfully at the heating controls.

But this month is also a season of bounty.  Everything from home gardens to hedgerows are groaning with produce.  The wild blackberries are still bountiful and what better than apples to have with them?

I have two apple trees in my garden, this year not quite so bountiful after a badly timed pruning battle with some clematis but where I live, it's rare to have a day at this time of year where I don't see bowls of apples outside someone's house often "free to a good home".  This truly is the month of plenty and there are great ways to use apples.  When you get tired of eating them at their crisp best (there is nothing like a freshly picked Braeburn at it's peak by the way), another great way to use them is in tarts.  This simple, almost freeform apple tart is ideal.

But they're also great in salads and are a natural partner for Stilton.

As the month wears on, cabbages and brassicas in general become a staple.  I love cabbage simply cooked with butter.  Healthy?  No but perfectly natural ingredients and lovely with smokey flavours like this salmon with green vegetables.

Plums are also deliciously in season.  They're not something I cook with very often but my Mum gave me kgs of them this weekend which I've stoned, chopped and are waiting in the freezer for some fantastic home made chutney, jam or crumble.

This month isn't all about produce though.  Sprats are also have just come into season and if there is still the odd warm day, these can be great on the barbecue.

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