How to Choose Stone Fruit

You know it’s Summer when you bite into a plump peach and the juices run down your fingers!  Stone fruit is in season, giving you a delicious source of vitamins and nutrients (to help make up for all those fish and chips). Learn how to pick the best produce and store it for the most satisfying taste.  Also, Georgia from GH Nutrition shares with you a delicious and quick Summery dessert, using only the most succulent of stone fruit.   

How to choose
When looking for peaches, plums and nectarines, look for fruit with vibrant colour skin and without brown spots or bruises.  You can pick under-ripe fruit as they sometimes have green patches, while older fruit may have wrinkly skin.  Choose fruit that is firm but supple – you can give this a go by giving the fruit a gentle squeeze – it should give a little with your touch.  

How to store
Stone fruit will continue to ripen after being picked.  Once purchased, keep fruit uncovered at room temperature or if you want to ripen quicker, keep on a windowsill in the sun for a day or two.  To test if the fruit is ripe – press the top of your finger near the stem of the fruit, if it dents easily, it is ripe.  A smell test is also encouraged!  Peaches and nectarines have a sweet smell when they are ready to be eaten.   Once ripe, store in the fridge.  Be careful, stone fruit bruises easily, so minimise handling and stacking other fruit on top.  

How long to keep
When ripe, nectarines and peaches should only be refrigerated for one day.  Ripe plums and yellow peaches last longer and can be left uncovered in the refrigerator for three to five days.  

Balsamic Stone Fruit with White Chocolate Ice Cream
A simple Summer dessert featuring balsamic roasted stone fruit and white chocolate ice cream.  Serves 4.

4 cups stone fruit (any combination of peaches, plums, nectarines and/or cherries)
1/4 cup raw brown sugar
2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
White chocolate ice cream, to serve

To make
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.  Prepare the fruit – pit and slice.
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Add the fruit.
Toss the stone fruit with with the sugar and vinegar.  Spread out on a single layer.  
Bake for 30-40 minutes, turning at halfway.
Serve warm with ice cream.  

  • WHAT’S IN SEASON | APPLES: New season Gala’s and Ginger Golds. BERRIES: Strawberries scarce due to heat. Raspberries and blueberries good value. Blackberries available. Organic blueberries. CHERRIES: Last weeks. Fantastic flavour this week. CITRUS: Lemons still scarce should ease soon. Peak season for Valencias as peak of Summer means greener skin on Valencias. FIGS: Peak season for figs, great value and eating. GRAPES: Great range of grapes. Try Sapphire grapes. Thompson Seedless great eating. LYCHEES: Aussie lychees still in season, smaller fruit only. MANGOES: Ending soon. KP’s ended. Honey Gold’s and Calypso available. MELONS: Rockmelons very good. POMEGRANATES: Imported pomegranates only. STONE FRUIT: Great range of plums including Queen Garnett plums. Nectarines still good. ASPARAGUS: Last weeks price affected by diminishing supply. AVOCADOES: Hass, Shepherds and Reid’s all in season. BEANS: Particularly scarce with flowers being burned off a few weeks ago as a result of heat. CELERIAC: Beautiful firm and large celeriac. GREEN VEG: All affected by the heat. POTATOES & PUMPKIN: Sweet potatoes great choice for this time of year. White, purple and orange. TOMATOES: All good. Saucing tomatoes available. Great cherry tomatoes. FLOWERS: Foliage is great at this time of year. Ginger Flowers and Monsterio leaves our pick for look and lasting.