Celebrate with stone fruit

This article was originally published in July 2019

grilled pluots and cheese

Click here for the recipe for Grilled Pluots with Bianca Cheese and Toasted Hazelnuts.

The only thing that could make summertime sweeter? Peak-season stone fruit! From cherries to plums, these juicy, locally grown gems all have one thing in common — the pit. Learn the ins and outs of stone fruits and explore tips, cooking classes and recipes for each.



Pile of red cherries on a white background.


Cherish these morsels — they have a short season! Look for sweet varieties throughout July to eat out-of-hand: plump, deep-red Bings; large and juicy Lapins; and sweet, floral, locally cultivated Rainiers.

TIP: To pit cherries, take a paperclip bent into an ‘S’ shape and push in until you hit the pit, then twist!

PCC COOKING CLASS: Sweet Hand Pies and Tarts
Menu highlight: Summer Hand Pies



Apricots on a white background cut in half.

SEASON: July through August

This pale orange seasonal crop boasts a velvety skin and plump shape similar to that of peach but much smaller. Apricots’ faint tartness lies somewhere between a peach and a plum.

TIP: Dip cut apricots in lemon or pineapple juice to keep them from browning.

PCC COOKING CLASS: Summer in the Mediterranean
Menu highlight: Cardamom Stewed Stone Fruit



Single peach on a white background.

SEASON: Late July through early September

Peaches grown in drier conditions like those in Eastern Washington are notoriously delicious — with less irrigation, their sugar content and flavor become concentrated.

TIP: To easily peel peaches, blanch them in boiling water for 20 seconds, then plunge into ice water.

PCC COOKING CLASS: Cicchetti: Venetian Small Plates
Menu highlight: Bellini Sorbet with White Peaches and Prosecco



Nectarines on a white background. Cut in half.

SEASON: Late July through early September

A fuzz-less genetic variant of common peaches, nectarines usually are smaller and rounder than peaches but have a sweet, succulent flavor with a firmer texture.

TIP: The deeper the color of the flesh closest to the stem, the riper the nectarine will be.

PCC COOKING CLASS: Date Night in the PNW
Menu highlight: Grilled Stone Fruit with Almond Granola


PLUMS & Pluots

Red plums on a white background.

SEASON: August through September

Plums and pluots come in a spectrum of colors. Although they share most of the same makeup, pluots are part apricot, giving them a soft, grainy flesh that is sweeter and more floral in flavor than plums, which range from tart (smaller) to sugary (larger).

TIP: Ripen plums and pluots in a brown paper bag at room temperature.

PCC COOKING CLASS: Sweet & Savory Stone Fruit Feast
Menu highlight: Plum & Heirloom Tomato Salad


PCC Cooks

Explore our full lineup of fresh summer cooking classes here, where you can view complete menus and search by class type, instructor, location and more.

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