Plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots…rock out to summer’s greatest hits: stone fruit. Here are five of our favorite tips for enjoying the season’s juiciest fruit for a song.
- Peach Condition. Ripen peaches, nectarines and apricots at room temperature. Once ripe, they can be refrigerated for just a few days to preserve them at their best.
- Need for Speed. Need ripe fruit fast? No need for an extra shop. Speed up the process by placing fruit in a brown paper bag on the counter, checking it a few times a day.
- Seasonal Savings. When the price is right, preserve stone fruits by canning them (in jam, syrup or salsa) to enjoy the taste of summer all year ’round.
- Cut and Dried Snacks. To dry stone fruit, bake halves or slices at 200°F for about 3 hours until dehydrated yet still soft, turning every 30 minutes or so. Store in fridge.
- Capture the Season. Lightly poach halved and pitted fruit in water (sugar optional) and then freeze for later use in smoothies, baked goods, desserts or fruit sauce for pancakes.
Sweet summer stone fruit shines in this simple Plum Crumble, using crushed cookies and almonds in the topping. Let the kids help; the only special equipment needed is their hands. And with this 5-ingredient recipe, the cost won’t get out of hand.
Is stone-fruit season music to your ears? Sing its praises in the comments below.
Originally published August 2013. Updated June 2016.