On a hot summer day, biting into a ripe, juicy peach is the epitome of a taste of summer – one bite that can quickly be ruined by the peach being not quite ready or just a little too ripe. This summer, you’ll never have to worry about that or about finding a peach recipe to make for breakfast, dinner or dessert, because we have tips and peach-based foods to keep you tastebuds perfectly peachy all season long.
When trying to find a ripe peach, let color clue you in. The Los Angeles Times recommends looking at the color around the stem, because if that area is still green, you’ll need to let your peach ripen at room temperature for a day or two before enjoying. Only refrigerate your peaches once they are fully ripe. More telling than color, though, is the feel and smell of the fruit.
When a peach is hard — like a baseball — the Mercury News cautions that it is not ripe or ready to eat. Once it starts to give, it is almost at its most flavorful, and soft peaches are ripe, juicy, and good to eat. You’ll need to be careful once the fruit hits this stage, because it will easily bruise. The scent coming from the fruit is another sign: When you can actually smell peaches, you have a ripened piece of produce. But before you pick your peaches, choose one of these nine recipes to make.
1. Peach-Banana Smoothie
Drink in the season with Pillsbury’s smoothie, which is full of fresh fruit and yogurt. A dash of honey is the only extra sweetener you’ll need for a drink that wouldn’t be out of place for breakfast or could help you cool down on a hot summer day. The recipe yields 2 servings.
- 1 medium banana, cut up
- 1 ripe medium peach, pitted, sliced
- 1 (6-ounce) container low-fat peach yogurt
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 cup small ice cubes
Directions: Combine all ingredients in blender container; blend 1-2 minutes or until smooth and frothy.
2. Peach Cinnamon Rolls
Already sticky and sweet, peaches add another layer to an old favorite: the cinnamon roll. Less healthy than a smoothie, make these peach cinnamon rolls from Just a Pinch for a summertime brunch.
- 5 large peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- 2 cups water
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1⅓ cups buttermilk Bisquick mix
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons melted margarine
- ⅓ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons margarine, softened
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the first 4 ingredients. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat. In a large bowl, stir together the next 5 ingredients to form a soft dough. Remove to floured surface of Bisquick and knead 8 to 10 strokes. Roll out into a 9-inch square.
Spread soft margarine over dough. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over dough. Roll dough into jelly roll shape and cut into six slices 1½ inch wide. Pour the hot peach mixture into and 8-inch square baking pan. Place roll slices, cut side up, on top of peach mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden. Serve warm. Great with coffee and ice cream for an afternoon treat, too.
3. Grilled Peaches and Berries
A breakfast or snack that indulgent loses its pizazz if made too often, and for a breakfast or snack that is just as mouthwatering but on the lighter side, make grilled peaches and berries like Taste of Home describes, and serve them with yogurt and granola. This recipe doubles as dessert if you swap out the granola and yogurt for ice cream. It yields 3 servings.
- 3 medium ripe peaches, halved and pitted
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Directions: Place two peach halves, cut side up, on each of three double thicknesses of heavy-duty foil in a 12-inch square. Top with blueberries, brown sugar, butter, and lemon juice. Fold foil around mixture and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium-low heat for 18-20 minutes or until tender. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape.
4. Chilled Peach Soup
Smoothies aren’t the only peach-flavored way to cool down this summer. Whole Foods has a chilled peach soup that, when served as a light lunch or a side for dinner, will help you beat the rising mercury levels. This makes between 6 and 8 servings.
- 6 large ripe peaches
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup apple juice
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 lime, zest and juice of
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mint sprigs
Directions: Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cut a small “X” through the bottom of each peach, then drop into the water to blanch for 20 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer peaches to a bowl of ice water. When peaches are cooled, drain well, then peel them, starting from the “X” at the bottom of each peach. Discard skin and pits and transfer peaches to a blender.
Add water, apple juice, honey, lime zest and juice, and salt and pepper, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours. Pour soup into bowls or cups, garnish with mint, and serve.
5. Peach Pizzas
This isn’t your traditional pizza pie. Instead, with this recipe from Georgia Peaches, the peaches and prosciutto ensure you get a little sweet and a little salty with every bite of pizza. It will only take about 30 minutes to make, putting dinner or lunch on the table with ease.
- 1 pound homemade or store-bought pizza dough, room temperature
- Cornmeal for sprinkling
- 2 peaches, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
- 6 thin slices prosciutto, torn into pieces
- 3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- Small handful fresh basil leaves
- Olive oil, to drizzle
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle metal baking sheet lightly with cornmeal. Divide dough in half and stretch pizza dough into two thin rounds. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and top with prosciutto and peaches. Crumble cheese over pizza, leaving ½-inch border around edges. Return pizza to oven and bake until crust is browned, about 10 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and top with basil leaves. Slice pizza into wedges and serve.
6. Peach Salad
Tomatoes and peaches are paired together in this summer salad recipe from Cooking Light. Use the heirloom tomatoes not only for their taste, but also their color. Combined with the ripe peaches, you’ll have a salad that everyone will describe as delicious before they even taste it.
- ¼ cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
- ½ pound ripe peaches, pitted and cut into wedges
- ¼ pound heirloom beefsteak tomatoes, cut into thick wedges
- ¼ pound heirloom cherry or pear tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons small basil leaves or torn basil
Directions: Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle vinegar mixture over peach mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and basil.
7. Pork Chops with Peach Barbecue Sauce
All it will take is one time making Eating Well‘s peach barbecue sauce before you start using it on all kinds of meats and dishes. The sauce can be made up to five days in advance and stored covered in the fridge. Your pork chop dinner will serve 4.
- ¼ cup plus ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 cups boiling water
- 3 cups ice cubes
- 4 bone-in, center-cut pork chops, ½- to ¾-inch thick (1¾ to 2 pounds), trimmed
- 2 ripe but firm peaches, pitted and quartered, or 3 cups frozen sliced peaches
- 1 medium tomato, quartered and seeded
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ½ cup chopped onion, preferably Vidalia
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
Directions: Place ¼ cup salt and brown sugar in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour in boiling water and stir to dissolve. Add ice cubes and stir to cool. Add pork chops, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
Puree peaches, tomato, and vinegar in a food processor until smooth. About 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook the pork chops, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 5-7 minutes. Add ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the peach puree, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, honey, and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until reduced by about half, 20-25 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup of the sauce for basting the chops; keep the remaining sauce warm in the saucepan until ready to serve.
Preheat grill to medium. Remove the pork chops from the brine (discard brine), rinse well, and thoroughly dry with paper towels. Season the chops with ¼ teaspoon pepper and brush both sides with some of the reserved sauce. Grill the pork chops, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit, 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with the warm peach barbecue sauce on the side.
8. Peach Cobbler
Roll up your sleeves, because about AllRecipes.com‘s peach cobbler is homemade — but it will be worth it. Put a dollop of ice cream on top of this double-crusted peach cobbler and watch the plates come back clean. This recipe makes about 18 servings.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup cold water
- 3 pounds fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¾ cup orange juice
- ½ cup butter
- 2 cups white sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
Directions: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, and salt. Work in the shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cold water. Sprinkle over flour mixture, and work with hands to form dough into a ball. Chill 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out half of dough to ⅛-inch thickness. Place in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, covering bottom and halfway up sides. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
In a large saucepan, mix the peaches, lemon juice, and orange juice. Add ½ cup butter and cook over medium-low heat until butter is melted. In a mixing bowl, stir together 2 cups sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cornstarch; mix into peach mixture. Remove from heat and pour into baked crust. Roll remaining dough to a thickness of ¼ inch. Cut into ½-inch-wide strips. Weave strips into a lattice over peaches. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and drizzle with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until top crust is golden brown.
9. Peach Cake
Cobblers are classic, but they aren’t your only option for a crowd-pleasing peach dessert. For something a little different, bake Ina Garten’s peach cake from Food Network. It will make about 8 servings, and your time in the kitchen can be limited to under an hour, making this an easy-to-bake and wonderful-to-eat dessert.
- ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1½ cups sugar, divided
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 large, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- ½ cup chopped pecans
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar for 3-5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and vanilla, and mix until the batter is smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup sugar and the cinnamon.
Spread half of the batter evenly in the pan. Top with half of the peaches, then sprinkle with two-thirds of the sugar mixture. Spread the remaining batter on top, arrange the remaining peaches on top, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture and the pecans. Bake the cake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.