Let’s talk about being in the right place at the right time. If you are in South Africa right now, this would classify as one of those moments. It is stone fruit season and you should count yourself lucky because the cherries, plums, nectarines, peaches and apricots of these lands are just beautiful. Stone fruits are sweet, floral and sometimes have a touch of tanginess or bitterness. The flavours and versatility of these fruits make them great for winning flavour combinations and perfect pairings.
We’ve learnt that peaches make great bakes and desserts with all-spice or mixed spice but a less traditional combination would be to pair peaches with cloves to make a fragrant pickle. Stone fruits generally pair well with cheese and other delicious dairy products – buckets of fresh cream, anyone?) but they can also work well with cured meat like prosciutto and salami. Apricots are great with nutty hard cheeses that round off the sweet-sour tanginess; you can also relish cherries with goat’s cheese on fresh bread; and plums are lovely with almonds and other nuts that are rich in oils.
Reward the versatility of stone fruit by being creative and trying your own interesting mixtures. With the abundance of the fruit at the moment there could be no end to the possibilities. If you need a push to get your creative juices flowing, try these summery stone fruit recipes.
Apricots with syrup
Sweet maple syrup and roasted and salted almonds add heaps of flavour to this fruity dessert.
Berry and summer fruit lattice tartlets
Fresh strawberries, plums and peaches, all baked up in rich golden pastry: this is the perfect summer dessert. Did we mention there’s condensed milk in the pastry?
Grilled cling peach and pea salad
The peaches in this unusual salad have a wonderful flavour and texture, creating a perfect balance of sweet and sour.
Jenny Morris’s Saharan lamb stuffed with cous cous and fruit
This fruity lamb tagine takes its cue from the flavours of Morocco.
Our version of Mrs Ball’s classic. Good with everything from curries and stews to chops and toasts.
Peach salad with prosciutto
This easy salad recipe combines seasonal peaches with salty prosciutto, creamy buffalo mozzarella and spicy rocket leaves for a refreshing, healthy salad.
Plum and almond cake
Juicy, jammy plums emerging from under a light, almondy cake batter: we challenge you to resist this scrumptious cake recipe. Best when plums are in season.
Plum and feta tabouleh
Try this zesty and fresh Middle Eastern salad for a vegetarian supper.
Plum and pistachio nut smoothie
Poached plums for tartness, sweet pomegranate rubies and a sprinkling of nuts for crunch: this smoothie is almost good enough for dessert.
Reza Mahammad’s chicken with apricots and potato straws
Celeb chef Reza says this traditional Parsi dish is always cooked at special occasions with the traditional Indian garnish of potato straws.
Warm fragrant poached plums with apple and strawberry soy milk sorbet
A beautiful, simple, fruity dessert with a lactose-free sorbet on the side.
White peach and salami salad
This simple salad marries the tastes of sweet and salty together perfectly to create a dish that is light and flavourful.