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Eat This Now: Peaches, Nectarines and Other Stone Fruit

photo by M. McClellan

Several weeks ago, I walked up to my local farmers’ market and saw a very welcome site. The peaches were in! Peaches and their stone fruit siblings (nectarines, plums and apricots) have a season of 3-6 weeks, far longer than those fleeting strawberries and cherries. This means that there’s plenty of time to buy, eat and enjoy them.

Right now, we’re seeing clingstone peaches in the markets. These are the peaches where the pits are firmly embedded in the flesh of the fruit. They have great flavor but are a little harder to work with if you plan on cooking with them. Soon enough, the freestone peaches will be in. Their pits release cleanly, making them the preferred peaches for folks who like to can or freeze peaches for winter.

Some of our favorite local farms for stone fruit are Beechwood Orchards (try their white nectarines), Frecon Farms, Three Springs Fruit Farm, Fahnestock Fruit Farm and Fruitwood Orchards.

Here are a few good ways to eat those gorgeous stone fruit.

A plum cake from Smitten Kitchen (I’ve made this one with apricots and it’s delicious that way too).

A mixed stone fruit salad with a ginger simple syrup from Eating Out Loud (perfect for a potluck).

Fire up the grill and briefly cook some peaches for a healthy dessert (from Cheap, Healthy, Good).

Consider putting up some of those peaches and plums for winter! Try this jam recipe from Food in Jars.