Luscious peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums let us know that summer is well and truly here. These sweet and juicy stonefruit are begging to be served up fresh out of hand, or in a range of seasonal dishes as summer temperatures soar. With a selection this good, getting your two serves of fruit each day will be a breeze.
Stonefruit are not only beautiful as a snack throughout the day, they are perfect for including in sweet and savoury dishes, fruit salads and cheese platters. Brush your favourite with honey or brown sugar syrup and grill until hot and golden to serve with frozen yoghurt or low-fat ice-cream. Add sliced peaches to stuffing mixture for a moist, fruity roast chicken or make an apricot sauce for baking tender lamb chops.
Peaches are the fuzzy fruit that appeal to most, but not so many of us are keen on the skin. Whether you can sink your teeth into one straight from the fruit bowl or you take the time to de-fuzz your peaches, that succulent flesh is in a league of its own and finding a perfect peach is pure bliss for the tastebuds.
For a large part of the year we are forced to use tinned fruit because stonefruit are extremely seasonal, but don’t miss out now the real stuff is on offer. Peak season extends until March.
Nectarines are the fuzz-free peaches. Ripe nectarines have an unmistakable fruity aroma that can beckon us from the other side of a room. Like all stonefruit, they are fat-free and a good source of the powerful antioxidants vitamins A and C. Nectarines are in season from now until March and are very well suited to turkey and pork dishes, ideal fare for the post-Christmas period.
Fresh apricots and plums are a cheese platter’s best friends. Sweet and slightly acidic, they make the perfect accompaniments to firm and soft cheeses alike and combine well with nuts and dried fruits. During the year it is not uncommon to see dried apricots included, but go for fresh while they are available, from now until January. Plums should have a longer season, available until April.
Whichever is your favourite, there will be luscious stonefruit to suit all tastes over our long summer. Treat your family to a combination of peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines, either fresh or included in an evening meal. Give these fruity recipes a whirl…
Recipes supplied by Fresh Finesse: www.freshf.com.au
Peach custard tarts
For the pastry:
- 100 g butter
- 1⅓ cups plain flour
- 1½ tablespoon sugar
- ⅓ cup ground almonds
- 2 tablespoon water
- 3 eggs
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 150 ml thicken cream
- 2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1 peach peeled, cut into 1 cm cubes
- Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Rub butter into the combined flour, sugar and almonds. Add water, mix well.
- Knead together on a lightly floured surface until combined. Divide into six portions and roll each out to fit the base and sides of 6 x 12 cm loose bottom tart tins.
- Bake for 10 mins or until firm, gently pressing down the centre halfway through if the pastry rises up.
- For the filling: whisk the eggs, sugar, cream and lemon rind until combined. Spoon into the pastry shells. Bake for five minutes.
- Divide the peach pieces between the tarts, press them into the custard. Bake for 10 minutes or until just set.
- Stand five minutes before turning out to cool.
Energising peach and banana smoothie
- 1 peach chopped
- 1 banana chopped
- 1 cup apple or pineapple juice
- ½ cup crushed ice
- Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until combined. Serve immediately and enjoy.