By Helen Cross

Autumn and winter’s crown is crammed full of so many gorgeous and delicious jewels and if you’ve been on the ball and ahead of the game you can freeze the bumper harvest of goodness that Autumn brings, carrying you into the colder months ahead.

Cranberries, plums, pears, blackberries and apples are some of my favourite and when you add spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg you instantly create warming and comforting recipes perfect for those looking for some weekend baking inspiration. Some of the ingredients in these recipes are measured in cups, for clarity, a cup of dry goods is equivalent to 130g in weight.

Pear Cake

1. Begin by greasing a round loose base tin with butter and preheat the oven to 180c. Then peel and remove the seeds of two large pears.

2. Using a food mixer, mix 150g of soft unsalted butter with one cup of soft brown sugar, add in two cups of rye and spelt flour and 1tsp of baking powder and mix everything together.

3. Next beat in four eggs, one at a time and then add 2tsp of cinnamon, two pieces of stem ginger chopped and 2tsp of the ginger syrup. Finally stir through the chopped pieces of pear and transfer the cake mixture into the tin and top with slices of a third pear and sprinkle with brown sugar.

4. Bake in the oven at 180c for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.

Blackberry and chocolate brownies

1. Begin by melting 200g of dark chocolate (I used a mixture of 70% and 85% from Aldi) and 180g of unsalted butter cut into cubes in a glass bowl over a pan with a little water in it on a low heat. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl. Melt until deliciously smooth and silky.

2. Break in four eggs and whisk into the chocolate mixture one at a time. Transfer the mixture into a bigger mixing bowl and stir in 150g of golden caster sugar and 50g of soft brown sugar.

3. Fold in 180g of spelt and rye flour. Transfer the mixture into a baking tray lined with grease proof paper and then dot the top of the mixture with 150g of blackberries. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 180C.

4. Leave to cool before cutting but they should be gooey in the middle when ready. Serve with more blackberries and natural yoghurt.

Blackberry and plum crumble

1. Begin by pre-heating the oven to 180C.

2. Remove the stones and quarter eight plums, add them to an oven proof dish and add 180g of blackberries. Top the fruit with 2tsp of cinnamon.

3. To make the crumble mixture put 125g of cold butter into a mixing bowl cut into cubes, along with 1/2 cup of soft brown sugar, 1.5 cups of plain flour and one cup of porridge oats. Using your fingers mix the ingredients into a fine crumble mixture and then add 1/2 cup of flaked almonds.

4. Add the crumble mixture to the top of the fruit mixture and bake in the oven at 180C for 30 minutes – 40 minutes, until the topping is golden and bubbling.

Cranberry, Orange and Peanut Butter Flapjacks

1. Begin by greasing an oven proof baking tray with butter and pre heat the oven to 180 C.

2. Into a pot add 200g of fresh cranberries, the zest of one orange and 2 tbsp of brown sugar. On a low heat gently soften the cranberries. This is helped if you pop the lid on the pan and should take no more than 5-8 minutes. Leave to the side once ready.

3. Next add two generous tbsp of coconut oil, 4 tbsp honey, 4 tbsp maple syrup and 4 tbsp peanut butter into another pot and gently melt the ingredients together. Add four cups of oats (each cup is equivalent to 85g) to the mixture and fold everything together.

4. Add the softened cranberries to the oat mixture and spoon into your tray, spreading the mixture out evenly and pressing it down into all the corners. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool before slicing into generous squares.

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