The month of September heralds the beginning of autumn. While the berry bushes bear their last fruits, it is high time to pick the apples and pears, the final stage of the harvest season. In the Middle Ages, fruits were stored and preserved for the winter months.

Did you know? What is currently known as Sirop de Liège already existed in the Middle Ages and was made by reducing apple and/or pear juice. It was a way to make use of fallen fruit. Dates were added later on. You can spread this paste on bread or use in sauce.

Naturally sweet fruit creations

Sweetened jams and marmalades as we know them today do not appear in 15th-century cookery books. What kinds of sweets were served after a medieval meal? A fruit pie recipe from 1380 seems surprisingly up to date: apples, herbs, figs, raisins, quinces and pears are fried with saffron – a typically medieval seasoning – and then baked in shortcrust pastry. Bakers and pastrycooks looking for a local and seasonal dessert can draw inspiration from this recipe.

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Fruit and honey marmalade


  • 210 g fruit (peeled or washed)
  • 65 g raw honey
  • 30 g verjuice
  • pinch of salt
  1. Put all ingredients in a deep pot and fully submerge in water.
  2. Gently bring to the boil and regularly skim off any impurities.
  3. Reduce the mixture almost completely on a low heat.
  4. Divide the marmalade over a few jars, press and close off.

Apple and pear purée with saffron and rosemary


  • 500 g apple (Boskoop, Elstar, Braeburn)
  • 500 g pears (Gieser, Wildeman, Saint Rimy)
  • 3 saffron threads
  • dash of dry white wine
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar
  1. Peel the apples and pears and remove the core.
  2. Cut the fruit in equal chunks and put in a pot together with the wine and sugar.
  3. Gently bring to the boil and add the saffron threads.
  4. Strip off the rosemary leaves and finely chop them.
  5. Add the rosemary leaves to the fruit purée and boil for 10 minutes on a low heat.