When many people think about the fruits that peak during the fall season, their minds immediately go to apples. But while apples are an unquestionable highlight of the autumn harvest, they're far from the only seasonal fruit worthy of home cooks' attention. Read on discover other versatile and flavorful fall fruits, along with recipes that make the most of these fresh ingredients.

By Taylor Tobin
September 01, 2020
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Try this recipe: Hasselback Pear Tart

Pears

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Pear season typically begins in August and runs through October, making this fruit a farmers' market star throughout the early autumn. The pear's mellow flavor and ample juiciness allow it to function positively in both sweet and savory recipes, and while pears take well to cooking, a perfectly-ripe pear also has an appealing texture as a raw ingredient in salads or to enjoy on its own.

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Try this recipe: Hasselback Pear Tart

Figs

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Like pears, figs are a treat reserved for the late summer and early fall, with their seasonality spanning from August through October and their territory largely centralized in California. If you're a home cook who hasn't worked with fresh figs before (as their dried equivalents tend to be more popular in the United States), then be sure to give them a try this year, as their natural sweetness and their almost-syrupy juiciness make them very valuable and very flexible kitchen players.

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Cranberries

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Tart-yet-sweet cranberries can be grown throughout the northern United States, and their season ranges from September through November. Cranberries tend to hit their popularity peak during Thanksgiving, when countless households include cranberry sauce on their dinner tables as a tangy accompaniment to balance out the savory turkey and stuffing. However, cranberries have possibilities extending far beyond the Thanksgiving spread, and they make a delicious addition to salads, roasted meats, and baked goods.

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Persimmons

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In the United States, persimmons grow primarily in the state of California, since they need access to gentle temperatures and plenty of sun. Persimmon season starts in late September and ends in late December, with crops truly peaking in the month of November and in early December. This fruit bears a unique flavor that combines sweetness, a touch of acidity, and an undercurrent of spice. In terms of texture, persimmons have similarities to tomatoes and plums, with soft interiors that respond well to baking. Persimmons can easily brighten up any dish, and they're especially excellent in salads, breads, and muffins.

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Quinces

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Quinces, which grow throughout the United States and reach their prime ripeness in October and November, have a reputation as finicky fruits; a slightly underripe or overripe quince proves nearly inedible, so you'll need to be a savvy shopper when selecting your quinces. But once you do get your hands on these fruits, you'll be amply rewarded by their sweet, almost floral flavor profile and their subtle level of spice. Texturally speaking, quinces have a lot in common with apples, so they're an easy ingredient to swap in when making pies, cakes, and jams.

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