How To Care For Stone Fruit & Recipe Roundup
During stone fruit season, we’re often asked how to best store fresh apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots, peacotums and apriums. Keep these helpful tips in mind:
When the Stone Fruit from Your Farm Box Arrives Ripe & Fragrant
If there’s a little bit of “give” when the fruit is gently squeezed and it gives off a sweet flowery smell, they are ripe and should be eaten or refrigerated immediately to prevent over-ripening. Plan to enjoy within a couple days.
When the Stone Fruit is Still Firm:
If there isn’t much “give” when you give it a gentle squeeze, your fruit can benefit from some additional ripening time on the counter, in a cool place, out of direct sunlight and under close supervision as a warm day in a warm room can quickly lead to spoiling.
Another Question to Ask:
How warm is your house during the day? If it’s warm, it’s best to keep your fruit refrigerated. It doesn’t take much time on a warm day for them to start to soften up. If you end up with some spots that aren’t as appetizing looking, you can still trim those parts off and enjoy the rest of the fruit.
For the Best Flavor:
Stone fruit aficionados will swear that flavor and aroma are superior at room temperature, but that’s not necessarily how to best store them. Let the fruit briefly come to room temperature before snacking, and you’ll get the best of both worlds—longer storage and full flavor!
GRILLED STONE FRUIT
Plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots and pluots are all delicious grilled. Add to a green salad, serve over Greek yogurt and drizzle with honey, or with vanilla ice cream and a reduction of balsamic vinegar. Click here for the recipe.
Fresh, juicy peaches are a special part of summer, and make a great addition to this refreshing punch. Try it as a non-alcoholic beverage or with a splash of rum or vodka.
Peppermint Peach Punch
2 cups water
2 peppermint tea bags
4 large, ripe peaches (white, yellow or a mix)
1 lemon, juiced
4 cups ginger beer
2-3 mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)
Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add tea bags, remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and pit three of the peaches. (We used a vegetable peeler, but you can also use a knife to peel them). Toss the peeled peaches in a blender with the lemon juice and puree until smooth.
Cut the remaining peach into slices and combine in a pitcher with the peppermint tea, peach puree and ginger beer.
Fill two (or more) glasses with ice, pour in the punch and garnish with mint (optional).
APRICOT FRUIT LEATHER
Homemade fruit leather is relatively simple to make and a great way to use up an abundance of fruit. It’s a convenient on-the-go snack too! Click here for the recipe.
APRICOT LATTICE PIE
Lattice pie is easier to make than it looks, and this is the perfect pie to try out your skills. Beautiful and delicious! Click here for the recipe.
ARUGULA SALAD WITH GRILLED PEACHES
The natural sweetness of the grilled peaches, the smooth, velvety texture of avocado and the peppery flavor of the arugula are the perfect blend in this summer salad. Enjoy for lunch or a light dinner. Click here for the recipe.
STONE FRUIT SANGRIA
This delicious sangria is full of fruit and is the perfect refreshing summer drink.
For the Fruit Purée
1 apricot, pitted
1 nectarine, pitted
1 peach, pitted
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon honey
For the Sangria
1 (750-ml) bottle chilled rosé
1 cup elderflower liqueur
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 pluots, pitted
2 plums (red and/or black), pitted
2 nectarines, pitted
2 apricots, pitted
2 peaches, pitted
10 cherries, pitted
2 cups sparkling water
Make the purée: Wash, pit and coarsely chop the stone fruit. Place the chopped fruit in a food processor or blender, add the lemon zest, lemon juice and honey. Purée until smooth. Transfer to a large pitcher.
Add the rosé, elderflower liqueur and almond extract to the fruit purée in the pitcher. Pit all the stone fruit and cut them into wedges. Add all the fruit to the pitcher. Chill for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
Fill some glasses with ice; pour in the sangria and fruit to fill the glasses 2/3 full. Top with 2 ounces sparkling water. Stir and serve.
Brown Butter, Plum and Almond Skillet Cake
This moist and nutty cake makes a delicious dessert, but also pairs well with a cup of coffee in the morning. Click here for the recipe.
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