Summer is ending and we are moving into Autumn, although it does seem from weather reports that we might still have a bit of an Indian summer coming our way – we’ll have to see.
You should still be able to pick up some seasonal goodies including the last of the blackberries, tomatoes and greengages, if you are lucky enough to have them in your garden or find them in the hedgerow.
If you do like foraging, then why not pick some sloe berries to make yourself sloe gin to be ready for Christmas? You will need 450g of sloes, 225g of caster sugar and a litre of gin: prick the tough skins of the sloes with a sterile needle and put them into a sterile bottle with the gin and sugar.
Store your sloe gin in a cool, dark place and for the first week give the bottle a good shake every other day. After that you can shake the bottle once per week – don’t even think of opening it for at least two months, but when you do, strain the liquid through muslin into a sterile bottle, and enjoy!
Butternut squash also comes into season in September. This versatile vegetable can be roasted or mashed to replace potatoes, or boiled with chicken stock, red lentils, tomatoes and curry powder to make a spiced dahl soup.
Plums and figs are also in season, and make a deliciously light and healthy pudding if you roast them in the oven with a drizzle of honey. Top the baked fruit with a dollop of greek yoghurt and some toasted almonds.