The Charm of Stone Fruits: A Summer Delight

Summer brings an abundance of fresh produce, but nothing quite compares to the juicy sweetness of stone fruits. From peaches to plums to cherries, these fruits are a seasonal treat that captivates taste buds and adds a burst of flavour to the warm summer months. Have you ever wanted to explore why they are a beloved summertime favourite? Well now’s the time!

What Are Stone Fruits?

Stone fruits, also known as drupes, are fruits with a large, hard pit or “stone” inside. This category includes a diverse array of fruits such as:

  • Peaches: Known for their fuzzy skin and sweet, fragrant flesh, peaches are a versatile fruit enjoyed fresh, grilled, or baked.
  • Plums: With their smooth skin and tart-sweet flavor, plums come in various colors and are perfect for snacking or adding to desserts.
  • Cherries: These small, round fruits are a summertime staple, loved for their sweetness and perfect for eating fresh or using in pies and jams.
  • Nectarines: Similar to peaches but with smooth skin, nectarines are equally delicious and can be used interchangeably in recipes.
  • Apricots: Smaller and slightly tart, apricots are delightful both fresh and dried, often used in savory dishes and desserts.
  • Mangoes: While you probably won’t find a mango growing in a Toronto backyard, these juicy sweet fruits are a member of the stone fruit family! Though tropical, mangoes are technically stone fruits and offer a unique, sweet flavour that’s perfect for salsas, smoothies, and more.

Stone fruits are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients. They are rich in vitamins A and C, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. These nutrients support your overall health, from boosting the immune system to promoting healthy skin and digestion. Plus, their natural sweetness makes them a healthier alternative to processed sweets and a great substitute for sugar-y desserts. 

One of the joys of stone fruits is their versatility in the kitchen. Here are a few ways to incorporate them into your meals:

  • Fresh: Enjoy stone fruits as a refreshing snack, in fruit salads, or as a topping for yogurt and cereals.
  • Grilled: Enhance their natural sweetness by grilling peaches, plums, or nectarines. Serve them as a side dish with grilled meats for a sweet surprise
  • Baked: The obvious choice: use these tasty fruits in fresh pies, tarts, and cobblers all season long. Their juicy texture and sweet-tart flavor make for delightful desserts.
  • Jams and Preserves: Looking for a way to capture that summertime sweetness year-round? Try to capture the essence of summer by making homemade jams and preserves. Spread them on toast or use them as a filling for pastries.
  • Savory Dishes: The firm texture of these fruits makes them a delightful pairing with many savoury dishes. Add chopped stone fruits to salads, salsas, or even savory dishes like pork or chicken for a hint of sweetness.

Elevate Your Dessert Game with This Easy, Stone Fruit Recipe!

Treat yourself to a delightful dessert with our simple yet sophisticated icebox cake! This recipe combines buttery waffle cookies, rich dulce de leche, and a mix of plums, apricots, and cherries for a heavenly treat.


  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup store-bought dulce de leche
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups chilled heavy cream, divided
  • 4 ripe red plums or other stone fruit, cut into ½-inch wedges
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 5 ounces butter waffle cookies or vanilla wafer cookies


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast pecans until fragrant, about 7-9 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Mix dulce de leche, a pinch of salt, and ½ cup cream until smooth.
  3. Toss fruit with 2 tablespoons sugar.
  4. Whisk 1½ cups cream until soft peaks form, then add a pinch of salt and remaining sugar.
  5. Layer whipped cream, cookies, plums, pecans, and dulce de leche on a platter, repeating to form a beautiful, multi-layered cake. Chill for at least 8 hours until the cookies soften.

Assemble this delicious cake a day ahead for an effortless yet impressive dessert. Serve chilled with extra dulce de leche for drizzling. Enjoy!

To enjoy stone fruits at their best, select fruits that are firm yet give slightly under pressure, indicating ripeness. Store them at room temperature until they ripen fully, then transfer them to the refrigerator to prolong their freshness. Remember to handle them gently to avoid bruising.

Stone fruits are a true gift of summer, offering a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy the season’s bounty. Whether eaten fresh, cooked, or preserved, these fruits bring a burst of flavour and a touch of sweetness to any dish. So, the next time you’re at the market, be sure to pick up some stone fruits and savour the taste of summer!

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