Summer fruits have never been sweeter. Make the most of ripe berries, juicy peaches and more by baking them into comforting desserts like pies, cobblers and crisps. Start with the gorgeous pluot coffee cake above (scroll down for the recipe) and read on for more of our favorite picks.
This lightened-up cobbler replaces part of the butter in the topping with buttermilk and other leaner ingredients, letting fresh berries shine.
|Nectarine Lattice Pie
Seemingly intricate, lattice-topped pies are actually quite easy to put together. They look best with a colorful fruit filling, such as cherries, peaches or the nectarines featured here.
This beautiful dessert combines two delicious summer fruits—plums and raspberries. For a rich finishing touch, top each serving with a dollop of sweetened crème fraîche.
|Blueberry Hand Pies
These individually sized pies are as nostalgic as they are delicious. Be sure to have plenty of napkins ready — the fruit juice is part of the appeal.
|Rustic Nectarine and Almond Galette
Nectarines hold their shape in the oven, which makes them ideal for tucking into a buttery pastry crust. You can toss them with berries or let them stand on their own.
|Gingered Peach-Blackberry Slab Pie
Fresh ginger adds a warm, spicy undertone to this stone fruit and berry pie, which is ideal for serving a crowd.
|Plum, Lime and Ginger Crumble
Summer desserts don’t get much easier than this crumble, which shows off ripe plums. Crystallized ginger and lime zest add complexity to the dish.
|Caramel Bread Pudding
Even at its simplest, bread pudding is scrumptious. Add two things to take it over the top: caramelized sugar, which adds incredible depth of flavor, and a scattering of bright red raspberries to finish.
This rustic tart is simple to prepare and beautiful to present. A scattering of almond paste adds a lovely nutty flavor.
Arguably, peaches make the best cobbler of all, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes a good thing even better.
|Roasted Apricot & Vanilla Tart
Cornmeal lends texture to the crust of this tart, which is topped with ripe apricot slices.
Vanilla-Pluot Coffee Cake
For the streusel:
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g.) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g.) chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
For the coffee cake:
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) unsalted butter
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3 pluots, halved, pitted and diced
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) plus 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g.) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g.) sour cream
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter an 8-inch (20-cm.) square baking dish.
To make the streusel, in a bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Add the butter and work it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the chopped walnuts, if using.
To make the coffee cake, in a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks, reduce the heat to medium-low, and gently simmer, swirling the pan often, until the butter is browned and smells nutty, 12-15 minutes. Scrape the brown butter into a bowl and discard the cinnamon sticks. Using a small knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the butter and add the pod. Let cool to room temperature.
In a bowl, toss together the pluots, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Discard the vanilla bean from the brown butter, then whisk in the sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract. Pour the butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Spread the batter in the prepared pan, top evenly with the pluots, and sprinkle with the streusel.
Bake until the cake is golden brown and the center resists light pressure, 35-45 minutes. After 25 minutes, if the topping looks dark, loosely cover the cake with foil and continue to bake. Let the cake cool in the dish on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes, then cut into squares and serve. Serves 6.