Peach season is a strangely melancholy time for me. On the one hand, perfectly sweet peaches, which are nearly impossible to find the rest of the year, are available in abundance, and that means peach pie, melba, cobbler, trifle and any number of other classic summery dishes are too. But when fresh peaches reach their peak in early August, they are a quiet reminder that the end of summer is quickly approaching. Right now summer's bounty may feel unstoppable—but the hint of chillier, more somber days to come lingers like an aftertaste in every juicy bite.
That's why the moment I see peaches appear at the farmers' market, I'm startled into action. Time to make that trip to the beach I've been putting off, time to take an extra bike ride, plan a weekend road trip, and cook and eat peaches in as many ways as possible. Summer's most popular stone fruit comes in yellow and white-fleshed varieties. And more recently, the super-sweet and slightly flattened Saturns, more commonly known as doughnut peaches, have started to appear in markets as well. With autumn just around the corner, there is no excuse for waiting to get your peach fix.
Ginger Peach Pie
A classic peach pie gets a hint of gingery spice.
Fresh Peach Ice Cream
Add a scoop of summer to any dessert with this peach ice cream.
Grandma Potter's Peach Cobbler
Rick Bayless's grandmother was known in her family for her traditional peach cobbler.
Peach Raspberry Trifle
Vanilla peach compote, coconut sponge cake, tapioca, and fresh raspberries are layered into individual jars.
White Peaches Poached in Sauternes
These boozy poached peaches make a delicious and elegant summer dessert.
Grilled Peaches with Honey Almond Streusel
Top smoky grilled peaches with a sweet, almond-scented streusel.
Serve this classic French dessert over vanilla ice cream.
Roasted Peaches in Bourbon Syrup with Smoked Salt
Peaches take a turn for the exotic in this unusual sweet and salty dessert.
Smoked Prime Rib with Peach Chipotle Sauce
Prime rib gets topped with a spicy peach chipotle sauce and smoked to perfection.
Self: Grilled Chicken and Peach Salad
This whole-meal salad is perfect for a summery lunch.
Bon Appetit: Tomato Chipotle Soup with Fresh Peach Salsa
Top smoky tomato soup with a refreshing fresh peach salsa.
The Wild Ruffian
Peach preserves meld beautifully with the soft sweetness of Cognac and refreshing brightness of mint.
Food 52: Honeyed Peach Melba Bellinis
Try the classic French dessert in drink form, with these peach melba bellinis.
The Kitchn: Sparkling Peach Punch
Green tea, ginger ale, and fresh peaches combine for a refreshing non-alcoholic drink.
VIDEO: How to Quickly Peel Peaches
Leah Koenig is a freelance writer and author of The Hadassah Everyday Cookbook: Daily Meals for the Contemporary Jewish Kitchen.