Is it even summer until you’ve demolished a peach? It’s hard to beat the simple pleasure, whether sun warmed and dusted off in the backyard, or chilled from the fridge and slurped over the sink — either way, somehow it only tastes better in bare feet. Fruit fans wait all year for tender peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, cherries, and more to roll into their tantalizingly short seasons. And local bakers are showcasing them right now in sweet-tart cakes and pies, and saving a ray of sunshine for later in bright jars of jams and chutneys.
Here are nine ways to feast on stone fruit this season. But keep checking back — summer’s just getting started, and specials will keep rolling.
Tres Leches Cake with Stone Fruit & Basil Whip from Norte54
Raquel Goldman specializes in desserts soaked in nostalgia, many inspired by summers with her grandmother in Mexico City. This season, she’s taking a traditional tres leches cake, and adding a couple of fresh twists from the farmers’ market, including a whipped cream scented with fresh basil, and a sweet-tart compote of stone fruit.
Peachy Keen Pie from Pie Society
For all those craving classic peach pie, how about a slice from an award-winning pastry chef. Angela Pinkerton tosses together white and yellow peaches from a local farm, pours them into a grandma-style butter crust, and tops it off with toasty oat streusel.
Cherry, Nectarine & Almond Crostata from Astranda Bakery
Cinnamon bun delivery legend Eric Chow also makes a mean crostata, with a flaky and flavorful rye and spelt crust, that’s loosely folded around seasonal fruit for a rustic pie. This time of year, that means juicy cherries and nectarines, roasted to tease out the jammy flavors.
Cherry Far Breton from Tarts de Feybesse
How do two fine dining dessert stars like to make the most of cherry season? Monique and Paul Feybesse are spinning a special Brittany-style dessert, which is similar to a clafoutis, with a thick base of custard and a pile of fresh cherries.
Cherry Pie Conchas from Chris’ Conchas
It’s officially cool to eat pie for breakfast. Chris Hood reimagines a classic cherry pie, and jams the same flavors into one of his pillowy sourdough conchas, which are filled with roasted cherries, topped with toasty crumbles, and warm with the flavors of nutty rye and licorice-like star anise.
Apricot Scones from Bonjour Bakehouse
Francois Bernaudin will not stand for heavy scones, oh no. The French pastry chef likes his scones airy and light, with a crisp crunch of caramelized sugar at the bottom. He shops the farmers’ market for local apricots, and slices them up fresh and folds them into the layers, for a burst of sunny and tangy flavor.
Pistachio-Blackberry Croissant from Neighbor Bakehouse
Did you know that blackberries and raspberries are technically stone fruits, too? (They’re in the drupe family, because of the way the flesh surrounds those tiny seeds.) And the inky dark jam adds intrigue to this cult-favorite croissant, which Greg and Christine Mindel split open, squiggle with jam, load up with pistachios, and bake twice.
Peach Lavender, Apricot Hibiscus & Raspberry Violet Jams from Maison de Monaco
Coco Guilhem is the French lady who supplies jam to Bouchon, along with other star bakeries. This time of year, her traditional copper pots simmer away with peach, apricot, and raspberry jams, sometimes flavored with floral lavender, hibiscus, and violet, and yet they’re never too sweet. If you’re into toast, you might want to pick up a loaf of sourdough, too.
Plum Chutney from Babo's Kitchen
The beautiful thing about stone fruit is that it can also swing savory. Rubab “Babo” Waheed, known for her colorful Pakistani dishes, collapses plums into a sweet, spicy, and deeply purple chutney. It’s equally tempting brushed over grilled pork chops or swirled into vanilla ice cream.
Hungry for more? These are only the highlights — there are so many more fruity treats on the site.