Peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, cherries – stone fruits are only in season for a few months. Despite this, 37,000 tonnes of stone fruit are wasted each year in the UK, with 89% of the wastage caused by us not eating them in time*. Use our guide to make the most of your fruit and prevent anything going to waste.
Underripe stone fruit can be kept at room temperature for a few days to help them ripen, then stored in a perforated bag in the fridge. The exception is cherries, which keep best in the fridge, unwashed. Use them up in this chocolate, ginger and cherry tiffin – the perfect no-bake treat for when it’s too hot to turn on the oven.
Stone fruits can be frozen, but you need to prepare them first. Halve, stone then open-freeze on a baking tray. Once frozen, transfer to freezer bags. Freezing stone fruits loosens their texture, so they won’t be ideal for eating raw, but are great in crumbles or compotes – top this vibrant plum and apple compote with yogurt and granola for breakfast or make a gluten-free plum crumble for dessert.
Start your 5-a-day early by making the most of stone fruit in your breakfast. Prep peach, ginger and blueberry overnight oats the night before for a stress-free morning or briefly char peaches, apricots and cherries for smoky griddled summer fruits with oats. On cooler mornings, try a comforting plum and almond porridge.
If you’ve bought too much fruit at once, it’s time to get baking. Transform your fruit bowl haul into delicious desserts – choose between a French apricot and raspberry clafoutis, impressive apricot and orange blossom honey tart or a tray of buttery cherry pie bars, perfect for picnics.
When you’ve had your fill of snacking straight from the fruit bowl, freeze your fruit into homemade ice creams and lollies. Pair peaches with sweet raspberry sauce for a peach melba sorbet or take a shortcut and mix fresh cherries into vanilla ice cream with this easy cherry ripple ice cream.
Need a quick way to use up the last few peaches in a punnet? Slice them up and add to summer drinks – infuse a peach, mint and vanilla chai iced tea or blitz up a sweet peach and basil agua fresca, a Mexican-inspired drink that translates as ‘fresh water’, for instant refreshment.
Don’t just save your fruit for dessert – fresh, juicy stone fruits work well in main meals to balance out rich or salty savoury flavours. This griddled nectarine and ham salad combines charred, smoky fruit with salty prosciutto and a punchy basil dressing for a quick summer lunch. For dinner, try juicy cherries in a Moroccan-inspired one-pot lamb pilaf or whip up a prosciutto, nectarine and thyme grilled cheese sandwich.
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