September provides a brief overlap between summer and fall produce. When wondering what to cook this month, try pairing summer fruit with fall vegetables for unique recipes that are only in season this time of year.
The weather usually wavers between hot and cold, so try switching up your cooking. Use summer berries on cold days that you normally wouldn't be interested in on a scorching summer day (like blackberry mulled cider). Then try using the first of fall's apples and pears in bright summery recipes, like a waldorf salad with pears.
Strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry season is ending, so enjoy the last of the bounty (or preserve them for winter)
Peaches, plums, and nectarines are slowing down this month, with their season only lasting through the end of this month or beginning of October.
The last of watermelons, cantaloupe, and other melons are around in September. Enjoy them before they are gone until next summer.
September is in the middle of fig season, which usually lasts into November.
Grapes are for more than just snacking. Try roasting them and adding to crostini or salads.
Peak apple season is here for early and mid-season varieties like Gala, Honeycrisp, Golden and Red Delicious. Later season varieties will start showing up at the end of the month, including Braeburn, Granny Smith, and Fuji (any showing up earlier might have been stored from last year, losing quality in texture and flavor).
Peak pear season is here this month as well. Bartlett and Comice pears are great for fresh-eating. Anjou and Bosc hold their shape really well when baked.
Fresh cranberries first start to show up in September. Darker red berries are juicier, but not necessarily sweeter. They work out great in stews or when baked.
Fresh pomegranates show up this month. If you can't find whole pomegranates near you, look for juice that has no added sugar (like POM brand), and seeds in the refrigerated area of the grocer's produce section.
More pomegranate recipes.
Canning & preserving
This is your last chance to can summer fruit if you want to use it in winter or give it as gifts. Figs and grapes are still around for a while, but berries and stone fruit will be gone after this month.
Fruit produce guides
The produce guides on this site cover selection and storage to get the best fruit at the store or market. Specific topics are covered for each fruit as well, like bitterness in blackberries and how to fix it, or how to substitute nectarines for peaches.