THE TIME IS RIPE
Nothing says summer like a ripe, juicy peach. Whether picked fresh from the tree or scooped up at the farmers market, these iconic summer delicacies can be enjoyed in both savory and sweet dishes for every meal of the day. In August, take advantage of peaches at their lowest price of the year with these 20 recipes celebrating National Peach Month.
Related: 25 Dishes to Make the Most of Summer Produce
Likely the first dessert that comes to mind during peach season, this classic go-to is a welcome capper to any summer meal. Homemade crust is cheapest and tastiest, but even with store-bought crust, the cost of making an impressive pie with a recipe from Food & Wine is far lower than buying one that could pass for homemade.
Chutney is an easy way to use a bumper crop of peaches. The fruit works well as a sweet-and-savory or spicy chutney, thanks to its naturally tangy flavor. A Cooking Light recipe uses only a few inexpensive ingredients and is open to substitutions. Enjoy the flavorful chutney alongside grilled meats, on cornbread, or with Caribbean rice dishes.
Simple grilled peaches make a richly flavored side dish when paired with grilled meats. They also work as a punchy dessert when topped with a spoonful of ice cream or whipped cream. Take advantage of grilling season and throw a few peach halves on a medium-hot grill until soft and char-marked.
BAKED PEACHES WITH CHEESE AND BALSAMIC
Topping baked peaches with blue cheese and balsamic vinegar yields an intensely flavorful side dish or dessert. Inexpensive and easy, a recipe on the blog Four Seasons of Food is ideal for dinner parties and last-minute suppers while peaches are in season. Pair this dish with grilled steak or a sweet dessert wine.
Turn fresh peaches into a grab-and-go breakfast or mid-afternoon indulgence by mixing butter, flour, sugar, and a few other ingredients for a streusel-covered take on peach muffins from the blog Sally's Baking Addiction. Feel free to skip the glaze to save time.
The combination of warm, baked peaches with a buttery biscuit topping is a Southern staple the entire family will love. Easy to prepare, a peach cobbler recipe from Southern Living is good enough to become a summer tradition.
Creamy peach popsicles are a cheap and quick way to turn fruit into a frozen treat. This recipe from Cookie and Kate comes in handy when peaches that are at peak ripeness and won't last another day. The frozen pops can be kept in the freezer for up to two weeks to make summer last a little longer.
PEACHES AND CREAM MILKSHAKE
Don't want to make peach ice cream from scratch? A simple milkshake from the recipe site Foodviva captures fresh summer peach flavor with a time-saving cheat: store-bought ice cream. Serve this as an afternoon treat or as an indulgent dinner-party dessert. Feel free to make additions such as vanilla extract or honey, or substitute non-dairy milk and ice cream.
PEACH UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE
Just like traditional pineapple upside-down cake but with peaches as the showcase fruit, this buttery, caramelized cake is a refreshing change from pies and cobblers. Fit for birthdays and other special occasions, this fruity and rich cake from Midwest Living can be served in lieu of a standard layer cake.
Take bourbon to the next level with a peach infusion. This homemade concoction from The Peach Truck gives cocktails a summery twist year-round. Make extra for thoughtful holiday gifts presented in small, glass containers.
Indulgent enough to serve for dessert, this creamy peach drink is still a healthy alternative to ice cream and other high-calorie indulgences. A recipe from the blog She Wears Many Hats can easily be adapted to include other fruits that might be on hand, such as blueberries, apricots, or cherries.
When peach overload hits, remember that leftover fruit can be preserved (and put away) as jam. An inexpensive and easy jam recipe from Martha Stewart can be refrigerated and enjoyed up to two months later, when summer peaches will be a fond memory.
Don't be afraid to incorporate peaches into savory dishes, such as a salad from the blog Green Valley Kitchen, which balances the sweetness of the fruit with tangy feta and sharp arugula. Peaches work well with bitter greens and all types of cheese, making them an easy addition to many other salads, too.
Forget the brunch mimosa and try a classic Bellini, a prosecco-based drink traditionally made with fresh peach purée. These are addictive, so plan to have enough purée on hand to serve guests more than one. An Ina Garten recipe makes six to eight drinks.
This light and festive punch is a refreshing way to welcome guests to a summer soiree. A sparkling white peach sangria from The Kitchn works well for brunch, garden parties, barbecues, or an afternoon cocktail hour.
PIZZA WITH PEACHES AND PROSCIUTTO
While it may sound odd to diehard pepperoni lovers, this pizza combination suggested by Martha Stewart will win over skeptics at first bite. The combination of salty, sweet, gooey, fresh, and charred creates an explosion of flavor that pairs well with crisp, white wine.
Tangy and sweet peaches draw out the natural richness of pork, each flavor complementing the other. An easy recipe from the blog Macheesmo takes humble and inexpensive ingredients and elevates them to restaurant quality. This party-worthy dish is so simple that there's no need to wait for a special occasion to break it out, either.
PEACH BARBECUE SAUCE
Peaches naturally mimic many of the flavors inherent to barbecue sauce, so it's no surprise that peach barbeque sauce is a popular twist on the all-American condiment. A smoky rendition from the blog Kiss My Smoke is easy to prepare and versatile enough to work on a variety of dishes. Make it spicy by adding a fresh chili.
Infusing inexpensive, store-bought vinegar with fresh peaches, with a recipe from the online magazine Organic Authority, is a cheap way to enhance the flavor of many dishes. Use the infused vinegar to make salad dressings, marinades, and sauces. The subtle peach flavor will lend complexity.