Sweet and juicy stone fruits thrive during the summer months. From juicy plums to succulent peaches, here are a few of our favorite ways to cook with stone fruit.
What is a stone fruit?
You may have guessed this from the name: stone fruits are characterized by large center pits. This includes a lot of our favorite summer fruits like peaches, nectarines, and plums. In addition to pits, stone fruits usually have thin skins, and soft, fleshy fruit. Read on to learn more about our favorite stone fruits, when they’re in season, and how to eat them.
Types of Stone Fruit
Peach season kicks in at the end of summer. Find the best peaches from late July through September.
We love peaches baked into sweet pies, as the base of peach crumble, or starring in savory dishes like Chicken & Spicy Peach Pan Sauce with Sesame-Roasted Broccoli & Jasmine Rice or Seared Chicken in Coconut-Peach Broth with Bok Choy & Jasmine Rice.
Plum season is from May to late July depending on the variety.
Dark purple damson plums are the most popular variety in American supermarkets, but the world of plums has a lot more to offer. From oblong prune plums, to sweet yellow mirabelle plums, there are many varieties available in stores and at farmers markets. Of course plums are excellent in desserts or as a snack, but for an unexpected treat, try this Grilled Goat Cheese & Plum Jam Sandwich.
Pluot season runs from May to August.
Pluots are a cross between apricots and plums. They’re sometimes called plumcots or apriplum. Much like plums, pluots can be a great accompaniment to seared meats and other savory dishes. Try using a pluot to make the topping for this Seared Pork Chops & Kamut with Corn, Spinach & Stone Fruit-Cherry Tomato Salsa
Cherries are in season from July to August.
In the U.S., cherries thrive in cooler states like Washington and Oregon. For a decadent dinner, try pairing cherries with a rich meat, like we did in this recipe for Sour Cherry-Glazed Lamb Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Calabrian Chile Yogurt.
Nectarines are in season from April to August. For Chilean nectarines, the season begins in December.
To enjoy their natural sweetness, try a simple preparation. Nectarines bring sweet, juicy flavor to a light vibrant salad. We love the salty sweet combination in this Snow Pea & Nectarine Salad with Grana Padano & Pistachios.
There are over 1000 types of mango, and not all are in season at the same time. The bulk are in season over the summer.
Mangoes have a large, thin seed. Mango peel has been known to cause allergic reactions in many people, and may have a bitter taste. The best bet is to discard it. Mangoes are delicious in sweet and savory dishes, including salads and salsas.
We topped off this burger with a bright mango chutney to add zip to the rich beef patty. In the mood for fruit?
Check out our guide to apple varieties.