Summer means sun, sand and stone fruit season, when we all get to enjoy our fill of fresh Australian peaches, nectarines, plums, and apricots.
A bountiful supply of Australian summer stone fruit is on its way to your local grocer from sub-tropical Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales.
Rich in vitamins A, C and E, stone fruits are a great source of dietary fibre and potassium, not to mention juicy chins and sticky fingers.
Here are some tips to help you when buying your fruit:
- Look for fruit that is fragrant and yields gently to palm pressure. The stem end of the fruit should be plump with no dark green in the cavity.
- When ripe, peaches should produce a delectable full-bodied aroma and start to lose their brightness.
- Nectarines tend to be a little easier to select and will give slightly when they are soft and juicy. A good sign of how sweet they are is the presence of white freckles on the top half.
- Choose plums that are plump and full-coloured.
- Apricots should be deep yellow or yellow/orange, plump, well-formed and fairly firm. Their characteristic flavour and sweetness develop on the tree.
- Some fruit experts recommend choosing fruit with shorter stems, as more nutrition reaches the fruit.
If you’re looking for some summer inspiration, why not try these exotic recipes using stone fruits from Australian Summer Stonefruit:
Stone fruit breakfast jars
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: three minutes
- 1 cup coconut water
- Zest and juice of one lime
- Two tablespoons coconut sugar
- One cup Greek yoghurt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- One tablespoon honey
- Four plums
- Four apricots
- Four peaches
- One nectarine
- One cup toasted muesli
- Mint leaves to serve.
- Place coconut water in a small saucepan with lime juice and coconut sugar. Bring to the boil and boil for 2-3 mins until slightly thickened. Allow to cool, stir in zest.
- Place yoghurt, vanilla and honey in a small bowl and mix well to combine.
- Roughly cut fruit and divide muesli and fruit between glasses or bowls. Pour syrup over the fruit and top with yoghurt. Garnish with mint leaves.
John dory with nectarine and lychee salsa
Prep time: 30 minutes
Chilled time: four hours or until set
- 250g butternut snaps
- 120g butter, melted
- Three teaspoons powdered gelatin
- 1 ½ tablespoons boiling water
- 300ml pouring cream
- 500g cream cheese, softened
- ⅔ cups caster sugar
- Two teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- One cup diced white peach, seed removed and cut into 1cm cube
- ½ cup fresh raspberries, roughly chopped
- Two white peaches to serve
- ½ cup raspberries to serve.
- Place biscuits in a food processor and process until they are fine crumbs, then add butter.
- Grease 18 x ½ cup patty cake tin, cut out 4cm x 15cm strips of baking paper to place in a cross in each hole. Divide the biscuit mixture between the holes and press flat. Refrigerate for 20 minutes until firm.
- Place boiling water in a small bowl and sprinkle in gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved, set aside and cool.
- Meanwhile place cream in a bowl and beat until soft peaks form using an electric beater. Set aside.
- Place cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat until combined and fluffy. Mix through gelatin until combined and fold through whipped cream. Fold through peaches and raspberries. Divide the cream cheese mixture between the patty cake holes and refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.
- Halve the extra peaches and remove the stone, finely slice. Remove the cheesecakes from the pan using the paper. Top with sliced peaches and raspberries to serve.
More recipes for cooking with stone fruit can be found here.