Summer time is here, and that means it is stone fruit season! Stone fruits are the essence of summer. Sweet, juicy peaches and nectarines are finally here! The stone fruit season is at its peak from June through September, so get your hands on these delectable fruits during the next few months.
In botany, stone fruits are technically called drupes. The term stone fruit comes from the stone-hard covering that you find surrounding the single large seed found at the fruit’s core. The stone supports the fruit while it hangs from the tree branch by its stem by providing a way for nutrients to pass from the tree to the growing fruit.
This week we’re offering Fitzgerald Kelly peaches and nectarines. Fitzgerald Kelly is a sustainable peach and nectarine grower from Kingsburg, which is just south of Fresno. His fruit is lovingly farmed through the growing season, and then hand-picked and hand-packaged at the peak of ripeness, resulting in outstanding quality season after season.
To select the perfect Fitzgerald Kelly peach or nectarine, pick one up and gently squeeze it in your hand. It should yield slightly. It is also important to look at the fruit and make sure that it doesn’t have any green (usually near the stem) or wrinkly patches. Aroma is key as well. Smell the fruit near where the stem is. It should smell sweet and fragrant. Once you get them home, store them at room temperature, stem-end down. It is best to eat your peaches and nectarines within a couple of days for optimal taste.
The possibilities of what to do with stone fruit are endless. The easiest way to enjoy them is on their own. There is nothing better than biting into a fresh, ripe peach or nectarine and trying to keep the sweet juice from dribbling down your chin. You can also turn them into pies, compotes, preserves, butter, cocktails, or use them as an unexpected addition to savory dishes.
At Oliver’s Markets, our reputation for having the finest produce is no accident. Our roots in the produce business extend back over thirty years to the days when Steve and Ruth Maass made their living selling produce off a roadside stand in San Francisco. Because they provided great produce at roadside prices, their stand became known far and wide as the best place to buy produce in the area. This remains true today.
Gluten Free Peach Pie
* 1 flaky gluten free pie crust
* 7 medium – large peaches, sliced and cubed
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar (or sugar substitute)
* 3 tablespoons tapioca flour/starch
* 2 teaspoons lemon juice (for citrus free, use white vinegar)
* Pinch of fine sea salt
* 1/4 unsalted butter, melted
Method: Preheat oven to 350•. Whisk the sugar, tapioca flour/starch, and salt together. Add the
melted butter and lemon juice/vinegar; whisk together. You can also add some cinnamon, if desired. Add the peaches to the bottom pie crust and pour the butter/sugar mixture on top of the
peaches. Place the top of the pie crust over the peaches. Bake for 45-50 minutes and allow to cool at room temperature for about 2 hours. Top the pie with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.
Sweet and Tangy Nectarine Salsa
* 2 nectarines, pitted and chopped
* 1/4 medium red onion, finely chopped
* 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
* 1 teaspoon white sugar
* 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* freshly ground black pepper to taste
Method: In a bowl, mix the nectarines, onion, vinegar, sugar, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. In a skillet over medium heat, cook and stir the nectarine mixture 10 minutes, until onion and nectarines are tender and lightly browned.
Peach-Pomegranate Tea Cocktail
* 6 ounces vodka
* 1 cup pomegranate juice
* 2 peaches, peeled and cut into 8 wedges each
* 2 cups white tea
* Pomegranate seeds, for garnish
Method: Using a liquid measuring cup, pour1.5 ounces vodka and 2 ounces pomegranate juice into a cocktail shaker. Add in 4 peach wedges. Scoop in ice to fill the shaker 3/4 full; cover and shake vigorously. Fill a small glass with crushed ice. Add vodka mixture and top with 1/3 cup chilled tea. Stir and repeat process to make 4 cocktails. Garnish each glass with pomegranate seeds.