Good Things to Can in Autumn

October 11, 2013(updated on October 3, 2018)

apples at Three Springs

Over the last couple of days, the weather in Philly has shifted from unseasonably warm to wonderfully crisp and just a little bit rainy (which as a former Portlander, delights me). It’s got me thinking about all the lovely jams and preserves there are to make this time of year and so I thought I’d dig down into the archives and pull together a few of my autumn favorites.


Piles of green tomatoes are often a challenge this time of year. Make yourself a big batch of green tomato chutney, or pickle them on up.


Pears are the best thing ever right now and there’s just so much you can do with them. Seckel pear jam with brown sugar and cardamom. Pear vanilla jam. Pear cinnamon jam. Red pear lavender jam. Pear cranberry jam. On the pickled side of things, make sure to try these pickled asian pears (it’s a recipe from one of Karen Solmon’s Asian Pickles e-books).


And we can’t forget apples! Applesauce! Spiced apple butter! For something a little tangy, a batch of apple cranberry jam. For something a little spicy, try apple ginger jam or my beloved honey lemon apple jam. There’s also mulled cider jelly (which is great for holiday giving) and quince jelly (okay, not an apple, but still lovely).

cubed pumpkin

Finally, on the pressure canning side of things, there’s always pumpkin cubes. It’s a great way to preserve winter squash if you don’t have appropriate cold storage for them or if you want to have some homemade, shelf stable, ready to use pumpkin.

What are you making these days?

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23 thoughts on "Good Things to Can in Autumn"

  • I’m working on Apple Jelly tomorrow. The first 2 rounds did not set like I wanted. I was using my homemade pectin and it obviously wasn’t up to par :/ But now I have a lovely apple syrup that tastes a lot like honey. Round 3 and 4 are going back to the standard ratios from the pectin box. They worked SO well last year that I have tons of requests for it this time around. And I have a bunch of pears just begging to be turned into Chocolate Pear Jam. That stuff is amazing! Dip some fresh fruit in and it’s heaven. The Brown Sugar Pear Jam was so tasty to though I’ll have to work one of those in again.

      1. Adair — any chance you would share that recipe for carmelized pear butter? My mouth is watering at that!

        Has anyone made a cranberry butter?

  • Such an inspirational fall canning post! I’ve been making lots of apple butter lately. The red pear lavender jam will be my next choice! I also want to make a concord grape jam from the Apt. 2B Baking Co blog soon. All of this canning…but winter is about to arrive and we need to be prepared for that, right?

    Wishing you a lovely weekend,

  • I found a recipe for Chipotle Apple BBQ Sauce that I’m excited about:

    I made some Carrot Rosemary Pickles last night and am also planning on making some Carrot-Apple Butter (both from the Carrot Can Jam website!).

    After that, I’m going to continue with the apples and try the Chai Spiced Apple Rings, also from the CanJam round-up.

    I’m in New Brunswick, Canada and it’s our Thanksgiving weekend so I’ve got an extra day to put things up and continue working down all those heritage apple trees at my partner’s family farmhouse.

  • Apple jelly. Apple butter some batches with just cinnamon, some with cinnamon and clove, and some with cinnamon and star anise. Spiced apple rings. Apples for pie. Apple Cider. Apples are everywhere.

  • Fall is hand-down my favorite time of year to preserve. Pears are a must for me (and go on all that winter oatmeal), plus early fall brings fresh ginger (to pickle for Burmese salads and candy/make syrup) and concord grapes (the best jam). Any day now the quince will show up (and after last year’s crop getting wiped out in my area, I am really jonesing!). I am drying hot peppers from my garden, and all kinds of cabbages and Asian radishes (plus other root vegetables like turnips) are showing up at the farmers’ market–so I think I may finally try kimchi. I just did a batch of pickled Chinese mustard. I also want to finally pickle some winter squash, as that sounds really appealing. BTW, A root vegetable post would be great.
    In summer, I am mostly just eating fruit raw (though I do freeze some berries) and enjoying the bounty, but this time of year I am scrambling to have a larder for winter!

  • Cinnamon-y applesauce — yum! I gathered up my green (and semi-green) tomatoes before our first light snow and roasted them with garlic, olive oil, and a smattering of onion. Next I plan to blend them into a sauce that I’ll add to my next batch of spaghetti. Mmmmm!

  • As soon as I see fresh cranberries in the store, I’m planning to try your pear cranberry jam!

    We were in Philly last week during the unseasonably warm part. I even got a little bit sunburned! It sounds like we just missed the nice weather. I’ll bet it’s lovely now! I spent some time wandering in Reading Terminal Market, and saw the lovely little Seckel pears. I wanted to take some home so badly! I haven’t been able to find them here in Southern California.

  • I have hunters in the family, so we are busy with processing and Canning Deer meat, dove, rabbit, and squirrel. There are so many wonderful things to can in the fall!

  • my favorite fall recipe? the pumpkin apple butter from the Food In Jars book. my postpartum self blessed my fall-nesting self for stocking the freezer with such a wonderful thing.

  • Apple sauce, apple butter, apple pie filling, grape jam, grape pie filling, pears, red Pepper jelly, garlic jelly! Yum, yum!

  • Apple sauce, crab apple sauce, and wondering what to do with my limited supply of quince
    Also, my pears are done, but I think I need to pick some to try the pear and chocolate jam.

    1. Hello, I’m a long-time admirer of FIJ and Marisa’s work, but I am new to blogging and commenting. I just posted a recipe for a simple, Middle Eastern quince jam that can help calm your craving for quince recipes!

      And generally, Marisa, I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for writing such approachable recipes and guides, beautifully reflecting just how simple canning and preserving really are.

    1. For muscadine jelly, I just use the instructions for concord grape jelly from the package of Sure-Jell. There’s probably a more sophisticated way, but it turns out really good! I’ve also made it with a mix of muscadines and scuppernongs in years past, when I didn’t have enough muscadines.

  • Muscadine jelly! I love the stuff. My grandmother made it when I was little; when we moved here, I was delighted to find muscadine vines growing wild all up in our trees! I pick them up when they fall, let the girls eat all they can hold, and make jelly with the rest.

  • Love your pear ginger conserve from your book. I have gone through two batches already. Have you ever tried an apple maple pecan type of conserve? For some reason I feel like I want something apple and maple but it needs something else…

  • The pear vanilla jam is so delicious! I was able to get a bushel of ripe bartletts for a good price so I needed a new recipe to try and your jam was it! Not only was it beautiful to look at with all the little specks of vanilla bean in the golden jam but the taste is off the charts! Yum!

  • Already have some apples in the fruit bowl that have been ignored too long, so a small batch of applesauce is coming. Showing a friend how to can this weekend with some apricots that went into the freezer during one of summer’s hot spells – one of those times when the apricots were lovely, but the thought of canning anything made me wilt. Also thought I might try some homemade pectin this year, from the recipe in The Preservation Kitchen.