Summer is stone fruit season — and we couldn’t be more excited about it! We’re not sure that there’s anything better than biting into a juicy peach (or nectarine or plum or apricot) or popping a delightful cherry into our mouth. Make the most out of this season with our guide to stone fruits.
first, what are stone fruits?
Stone fruits, also known as drupes, are warm-weather fruits with a thin-skin and soft flesh. As their name suggests, stone fruits have a large hard pit or seed in the middle.
Think nectarines, cherries, mangoes, apricots, peaches, plums, and their hybrids like plumcots, pluots, and apriums.
and they’re interchangeable!
Whether fresh or cooked, stone fruits are often interchangeable in recipes so feel free to experiment!
use your senses to select.
Look for bright colors, a smell that makes your mouth water, a firm but bouncy flesh and make sure to avoid mushy, loose-skinned, dull smelling fruits.
Most stone fruits will continue to soften, grow sweeter and more aromatic after picking. Because refrigeration halts ripening and affects texture, under ripe stone fruit should be placed on the countertop until ready to use.
There are some exceptions. Apricots spoil easily and should be bought just before use. Cherries can be refrigerated but should be brought to room temperature before eating to bring out the flavor.
There re three easy ways to prep your stone fruits – and it all depends on the fruit and how you plan to eat it.
1) cutting around the seed entirely (like you would with an apple).
2) slicing into wedges and pulling them away from the seed.
3)halve by cutting all the way around the fruit, twisting and scooping out the seed.
did you know.
Did you know there are many ways to use the pits and kernels of stone fruit?! They can be used to make soap, jam, added to potpourri, soaked in vodka to make homemade almond extract and of course planted or composted.