In June, we must eat stone fruit.
Stone fruits are those fruits that consist of flesh surrounding a single hard pit. They include peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, cherries, and even mangoes. Stone fruit’s peak season is at hand, and biting into a sweet, juicy peach and feeling the juice run down your arm is one of the quintessential moments of summer.
But even a fruit fanatic like myself can get jaded after loading up on fresh cherries, ripe apricots, exotic pluots, and succulent nectarines day after day. (Read our primer on stone fruit for the basics.)
That’s when I start thinking about ways to dress up my fruits.
In summer, a fruit fanatic’s thoughts often turn lightly to fruit pies—and I can make a mean one, homemade pie crust and all. However, since I’m also working on maintaining a healthy weight, this season, I’m cutting out the crust and going straight for the filling. That’s where roasting comes in.
Roasting stone fruits concentrates their sweetness and flavor. The sugars caramelize, giving the fruit depth of flavor unrivaled by a regular fruit salad. And unlike pie, this treat couldn’t be easier to make.
This recipe outlines the basic technique for roasting stone fruit, but don’t be afraid to add different herbs or spices. You can choose a single type of fruit, like peaches or cherries, but for a nice depth of flavor, use a variety. You can even add a tablespoon of port or white wine—use your creativity.
Store roasted fruit in the refrigerator in a jar in its juices and use it to top your yogurt (if you’re good) or a bowl of ice cream. It’s fabulous mixed into some thick whipped cream, too.
Vanilla-Roasted Stone Fruit
Recipe by Miriam Wolf
- Two ½ pounds fresh stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, apricots, pluots, cherries, etc.)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- One vanilla bean
- Zest and juice of one lemon or one lime or one mandarin orange
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Remove pits and slice fruit into halves or quarters, depending upon the size of the fruits. Catch any juices in a bowl and reserve them.
- Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape seeds into white sugar. Rub seeds into the sugar until well-combined. Add citrus zest and juice.
- Place fruit and its juice in a shallow baking dish and add sugar-vanilla mixture. Toss lightly.
- Roast 20–25 minutes. The fruit should be softened and browned at the edges. Serve immediately, or cool and refrigerate for up to three days.
Serves 6. Prep time, 15 minutes; cook time, 25 minutes.
Miriam Wolf is the editor of The FruitGuys Magazine newsletter.