It’s that moment we’ve all been waiting for, when gardens and greenmarkets burst with everything plump, colorful, and sweet. Celebrate summer’s bounty with our recipes, which shine a light on berries, cherries, peaches, and plums. Pick one that appeals to your palate, but feel free to substitute whichever fruit strikes your fancy -- just pop in whatever’s most plentiful.
1. Apricot-and-Strawberry Galette
This free-form galette is as relaxed as a summer Friday. Spread a round of crust with hazelnut frangipane and scatter ripe apricots and strawberries on top, then fold in the sides of the pastry for a rustic look. Frangipane is usually made with ground almonds, but we replaced them with hazelnuts, and pumped up their flavor with Frangelico, a hazelnut liqueur. If you swap in cherries or mixed berries, hew to tradition with almonds, and replace the Frangelico with rum.
2. Peach-and-Raspberry Oat Cobbler
To update -- and add some substance -- to cobbler, mix oats into the biscuit dough; they provide a nubby, satisfying texture and richer flavor. These one-bowl drop biscuits come together quickly, and cream makes them tender. Our vivid peach-raspberry combo was inspired by peach melba, but pitted sour cherries are lip-smacking in early summer, as are sliced plums and nectarines later in the season. Spoon the cobbler into bowls, then pour some heavy cream on top.
3. Cherry-and-Cream-Cheese Hand Pies
Two fillings -- a tart cherry compote and a dollop of sweet cream cheese laced with coconut and lime -- mean double the deliciousness. it’s like a cheese Danish and a cherry pie went on a tropical summer vacation together. For an equally bright-tasting alternative, use strawberries instead of cherries, and orange juice instead of lime juice.
4. Plum-and-Blackberry Cornmeal-Almond Crumb Bars
Subtle savory notes -- of black pepper in the filling and cornmeal in the crust -- give these bars a refined, grown-up sensibility. The pepper also blends with the dark, rich plum-blackberry filling to create a flavor almost like wine. If you can only find super-tart blackberries, sweet blueberries are a good alternative.
5. Bourbon-and-Brown-Sugar Cake with Berries
Settle onto a porch with a pitcher of iced tea and this beauty. The bourbon and brown sugar in the batter give it a caramel-like complexity. And the fruit on top is finished with a generous sprinkle of coarse sugar -- so when baked, it’s like a big, crunchy muffin top. We love the simplicity of these ingredients, but the recipe works well with peaches and rum, or apricots and kirsch, too.
Watch Sweet Talk host Lindsay Strand demonstrate how to whip up this spectacular summer cake: