Summer Fruit Recipes

It’s summer! Whether you’re in or outdoors, hopefully for all of you there are beautiful summer fruits and berries to be had, and I hope that you’re able to get your hands on as many of them as you can. I am loading (actually, overloading…) myself up at the market. While a good portion on the fresh fruit gets eaten just as-is, some of it…

It’s summer! Whether you’re in or outdoors, hopefully for all of you there are beautiful summer fruits and berries to be had, and I hope that you’re able to get your hands on as many of them as you can. I am loading (actually, overloading…) myself up at the market. While a good portion on the fresh fruit gets eaten just as-is, some of it goes into the following dessert recipes that I continue to make year after year. Others go into jam, which is a great way to preserve all those summer fruits and berries, and make them last through fall and winter.

Cherry season is behind most of us (sniff…sniff…), but if they are still lingering where you live, you can type “cherry” or “cherries” into the search engine at the top right corner of the page to find cherry recipes. (And we don’t get a bountiful array of fresh raspberries and blackberries here, so I don’t have many recipes that use them on the blog.) But for nectarines, strawberries, peaches, plums and other summer fruits, here are some of my favorite recipes on the blog…

Summer Fruit Galette with Frangipane

I’ve seen so many galettes this year on social media, that it’s tempting to already call galettes The Dessert of the Year. (Okay, there were plenty of Banana Breads as well. And it’s hard to knock Banana Bread, even my low(er) fat one.) But for the bang-for-the-buck, it’s hard to beat the silly-easy galette, made with a fail-safe dough that gets rolled out, topped with fresh fruit, and baked until ripe ‘n ready. Mine has a layer of frangipane under the fruit to keep some of those juices away from the bottom crust, so it stays crisp. It also tastes good, too! Apricots work especially well in this one but you can use nectarines, plums, peaches, or…

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

…rhubarb and strawberries! Yes, the classic combo works well as a galette, too. But don’t let tradition stand in the way of deliciousness and you can swap out cherries, raspberries, or blackberries for the strawberries.

Apricot Jam

When I was a cook in upstate New York back in the 1980s (!) I remember someone brought us a (as in 1) basket of fresh apricots from California, which I’d never seen before. I made a simple tart with them and only eight lucky customers could get a taste of it. (Or maybe I cut it into ten?) Fast-forward to today, summer brings a cavalcade of fresh apricots to the markets and toward the end of the season, I don’t have time to shed any tears as I’m piling apricot jam into pots, to save them for the coming months. It’s Romain’s favorite jam so I make sure there’s enough to keep him happy, because I’ve learned what happens when I don’t : 0

Summer Fruit Tart (with frangipane)

Another summer fruit favorite, yes, with more almond cream than the galettes above, this is that classic French tart that you’ll find in many pastry shops all year round, using everything from pears to pineapple. Don’t love almonds, or want to take it in a different direction? Replace the almonds with hazelnuts for a special treat.

Plum-Strawberry Jam

While apricots are Romain’s favorite for jam, I am 100% on team plum. The luscious tang of juicy plum, and the high natural pectin content, makes this one of the easiest jams to make. And it’s not too difficult to eat, either.

Plum Sorbet

While I miss the purple Santa Rose and Elephant Heart plums we got in California, France has its own special selection of delectable plums, including Mirabelles, quetsches, and even wild plums. While the wild plum trees that we used to pick/glean from have been pruned by the absentee owners (phooey!) we found another source last summer. And the only thing better than free plums is free wild plums, which come in an array of snazzy colors and are extra tangy, perfect for those of us that like some pucker in our pastries.

Plum Flaugnarde

The cousin of clafoutis, this flaugnarde features a jumble of plums baked in a silky custard. They’re so pretty I almost hate to bake them. But then, when I pull it out of the oven, I’m happy to have a beautiful baked gratin dish of custardy plums for dessert on a warm summer night.

Plum-Rhubarb Crisp

Two tart fruits come together, baked under a buttery blanket of streusel. If these two bedfellows are available at the same time where you live, you’re doubly lucky!

Mirabelle Jam

The elusive Mirabelle plums have a cult-like following and while some mistakenly think they aren’t available in the U.S. (they were briefly banned a few years ago), if you’re lucky, you can indeed find them. They’re intensely flavored and sweeter than other plums, and make a wonderful confiture with jewel-like fruits suspended in a shimmering jelly, which are lovely heaped on toast in the morning. (If you want to get a taste of Mirabelles but can’t find them, Bonne Maman makes a golden plum Mirabelle jam that’s exported from France.)

Angel Food Cake

While I wasn’t a fan of Angel Food Cake growing up, which my mother usually made to accompany strawberries, I became a convert as a grown-up. Perhaps it had to do with writing an ice cream book and having an overload of egg whites to use up. (And Angel Food Cake is an express route to doing that.) Nevertheless it’s a treat along with summer fruits and berries, either baked as a compote or fresh, tossed in a little sugar and perhaps a dash of crème de cassis. The spongy cake is an ideal way to make sure you get every drop of the fruit syrup that’s surrounding the airy slab. It’s French cousin, Gâteau de savoie, is equally enjoyable, and doesn’t require an Angel Food Cake pan.

Roasted Strawberry Miso Ice Cream

Roasting strawberries is lesser-known way of coaxing out their flavor, but works well when making ice cream as it concentrates them and reduced the water, so the ice cream stays creamier. Adding a touch of salty miso provides a curious contrast to the berries juicy sweetness, and a little umami to boot.

Strawberry Spritz

Once you make the (very) easy base for this Strawberry Spritz, you can use it to make Strawberry Margaritas, too. (And if you’ve got a hankering for a classic Spritz, I’ve got you covered there, too.) But this Spritz is a great, light apéritif to enjoy all season long. I was drinking lots of these a few weeks ago when strawberries were at their peak. If they available where you live, go infuse some in vermouth blanc for a great spring/summer sipper.

Spiced Plum Cake with Toffee Glaze

Toffee glaze is one of those things you could put on an old sneaker, and it would make those dilapidated Reeboks taste great. Even better (and more recommended) is this spiced plum cake, which isn’t too rich or too sweet. Crunchy toasted almonds on top are a nice contrast to the buttery glaze.

Peach Shortcakes with Butterscotch Sauce

Speaking of buttery sauces, butterscotch with peaches is a natural. Grammar-correct keeps asking me: A natural what? But I think you can figure that out. If not, give them a try together and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Vin de pêche

If you’re fortunate enough to have a peach tree or can get some of the leaves, they lend a delicate almond-like flavor to this intriguing apéritif wine. I try to make a few bottles every year and serve chilled glasses as the season’s change, reminding me of summer, and reminding me that the light almond flavor of peach leaves in wine is something to put on my calendar for the following year.

Bourbon Peach Cooler

Peaches and bourbon are natural partners, and they don’t mind sharing space in a tumbler with the classic French apéritif, Bonal. But not to worry if you don’t have it; I offer some substitutes that you might already have on your liquor shelf. This cocktail isn’t just pretty, it’s also a pretty effective way to beat the heat. (Yup, nectarines or plums could replace the peaches, if you’re so inclined.)

Nectarine-Berry Popsicles

A vintage metal popsicle mold that was a find at a flea market prompted these summer ‘sicles. You can load ’em up with berries and since I used white nectarines, the popsicles were extra-pretty in pink. But anyone would say “yes” to them in yellow, if you go with standard nectarines.

Mixed Berry Shortcakes

Mixed berry anything automatically makes something my favorite dessert. I love, love, love the juicy tumble of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, red currants, or whatever else you’ve got. Bring the berries on!

Blueberry Cobbler

While I am nostalgic for the overload of blueberries that I grew up with New England, when I do find myrtilles, I try to keep them as close to their pure state as possible. Topped with crumbly drop biscuits, all that’s needed is a scoop of vanilla ice cream to complete the picture, but white chocolate-fresh ginger ice cream would also be welcome…and appreciated, on this cobbler.

Mango Frozen Yogurt with Blueberry Compote

While everyone’s mind is on peaches and nectarines, don’t forget mangoes, their tropical counterpart, which go just as well with summer berries. Blueberries particularly come to mind but raspberries and strawberries could fill in for them.

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

With pretty swirls of crispy meringue, this tangy frozen yogurt can be part of a composed dessert, which I like to serve in the summer, being generous with the fresh fruit…and filling in the blanks with frozen yogurt and meringues.

Blueberry Buckle with Lemon Syrup

I don’t know if blueberries get any better than in this buckle, which do indeed “buckle” under the weight of almost too many blueberries…if that’s even possible. A dousing with tart lemon syrup keeps things moist and tangy. You can skip the cream with this one. It’s great on its own.