Stone Fruit

Apricots

Buying: Select apricots that are plump and fairly firm, not hard, and are orange-yellow to orange in color. Avoid apricots that have blemishes or soft spots or that have a pale-yellow or greenish-yellow color.

Storage: Store firm apricots at room temperature. Once the fruit yields to gentle pressure, store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Related Recipe: Habanero Apricot Jam»



Plums

Buying: Select plump fruit. Ripe plums will give slightly when gently pressed and have a fruity aroma. Avoid hard, bruised, soft or shriveled fruit.

Storage: Store unwashed ripe plums in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. To ripen, place in a paper bag at room temperature for 1-3 days.

Related Recipe: Plum Good Crisp»



Nectarines/Peaches

Nectarines and peaches are used interchangeably in recipes. Nectarines have a smooth thin skin; peaches have a fuzzy skin.

Buying: Select plump fruit. Avoid fruit with bruises, soft spots or cuts. Avoid peaches with a green background as these will not ripen or be sweet. Ripe nectarines and peaches will give slightly when gently pressed and have a sweet aroma.

Storage: Store ripe fruit in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Store firm fruit at room temperature until ripened. To ripen more quickly, place fruit in a paper bag at room temperature. Freeze for up to 1 year.

Yield:
1 pound nectarine (3 medium) = 3 cups sliced
1 pound peaches (4 medium) = 2-3/4 cups sliced

Related Recipe: Peach-Topped Pork Chops»

Related Recipe: Nectarine Ice Cream»



Cherries

Buying: Select cherries that are plump and firm with a shiny skin. Avoid soft, bruised, shriveled fruit or fruit that has browned around the stem area.

Storage: Before refrigerating, sort through and discard any crushed, mushy or moldy fruit. Sort unwashed cherries in a closed plastic bag in the refrigerator away from other vegetables with strong aromas for 1-2 days. To freeze, arrange in a single layer on a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer container or bag. Freeze up to 1 year.

Preparation: Gently wash cherries before using, not before refrigeration. Use a cherry pitter or a tip of a vegetable peeler to remove the pit.

Related Recipe: Fresh Cherry Pie»

More Cherry Recipes»