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Stone Fruit

Honey-Thyme Roasted Nectarines

Halve and pit nectarines. Combine honey and thyme and drizzle over nectarines.

Roast at 425°F until honey-thyme mixture is caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes.

Plums with Goat Cheese & Pistachios

Thinly slice plums. Arrange on a serving platter.

Drizzle with walnut oil, then sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese and toasted pistachios. Season with salt and pepper.

Wine-Poached Apricots

Combine white wine, sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.

Add apricots and simmer until tender. Remove apricots from pan and continue cooking liquid until syrupy. Drizzle apricots with syrup and top with crème fraîche and toasted almonds.

Grilled Stone Fruit Vinaigrette

Grill stone fruit over medium heat until soft and slightly caramelized.

Peel fruit. Using a fork, mash fruit with lemon juice. Whisk in olive oil, salt and pepper and toss with salad greens.

Peach Crisp

Peel 6 peaches, cut into wedges and toss with lemon juice, 1 tsp. cornstarch and sugar to taste.

Stir together 1/2 cup flour, 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Cut in 4 Tbs. cubed butter and toss in 2/3 cup rolled oats.

Sprinkle on peaches and bake at 350°F until bubbling.

Easy Peach Galette

Toss 4 sliced, peeled peaches with 2 tsp. cornstarch and sugar to taste; place in center of a pie dough round.

Fold dough over edges of peaches, lightly crimping; brush pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 400°F until golden.

Availability

Stone fruits (apricots, pluots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums and apriums) are first harvested in the spring, beginning with cherries, but plums and the last of the peaches can appear in markets through September.

Selecting

Look for fresh apricots with a deep golden color and sweet fragrance. They should be soft enough to give slightly when gently pressed. Avoid any hard fruit, as it will never ripen fully on the counter. Choose nectarines and peaches that give slightly to gentle pressure, emanate a flowery fragrance and are free of bruises and blemishes. Avoid any with tinges of green, as they were picked too early and may never ripen properly. Plums should be smooth, heavy for their size and give gently when pressed, particularly at the blossom end. The freshest plums retain a white, powdery bloom on their peel. Avoid any that are wrinkled or overly soft.

Preparing

Apricots should be handled very gently, as they bruise easily. To peel the fruit: Trim away the stem, cut a shallow X in the blossom end and plunge the apricots into a large pot of boiling water until the skin peels away, 20 to 60 seconds, depending on ripeness. With a slotted spoon, transfer the fruit to ice water to cool. Drain and then peel with your fingers or a small paring knife. Wash peaches and nectarines under cold running water just before using them. To halve, use a small, sharp knife to cut down to the pit following the fruit's crease, then grasp the fruit in both hands and rotate the halves in opposite directions to separate. Scoop out the pit with the tip of the knife or a spoon. Plum skins are easy to peel if the fruit is fully ripe. If the plums are still firm and their skin clings stubbornly, cut a shallow X in the blossom end and plunge the fruit into boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the ripeness. Rinse in cold water to cool and then carefully slip off their skins.

Storing

Lightly green-tinged apricots may become sweeter if enclosed in a paper bag at room temperature for 1 or 2 days. Once ripe they should be eaten as soon as possible. Arrange peaches and nectarines stem-end down and store at room temperature. If they are soft, refrigerate them in a plastic bag for 4 to 5 days. To soften hard plums, place them in a paper bag for a few days at room temperature. Store fully ripe plums in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.