20 Ways to Use Peaches Past Their Prime
At the height of summer, there is nothing better than a tangy, bright, and sweet peach that’s so juicy you have to eat it over a sink, or at least with some napkins. Unfortunately, the line between a perfect peach and a disappointing, mushy, bruised peach is very fine. When a peach just isn’t worth eating raw, pivot and cook it instead. We’ve got plenty of cobblers, cakes, pies, and even sauces that’ll help you use up those peaches past their prime, and nobody has to know they were less than perfect.
Salted Caramel Peach Cobbler
If you thought peach cobbler just couldn’t get any better, you’re not alone. But brace yourself—it just got better. Salted caramel sauce sweetens the fresh peach filling and comes in as the perfect finishing touch in this decadent uptake on the classic summer cobbler. While our Salted Caramel Sauce is certainly easy enough to make (no candy thermometer necessary!), if you’re in a hurry, you can sub in jarred caramel sauce—but don’t forget to add a healthy pinch of kosher salt! You’ll likely have more caramel than you need; any leftover Salted Caramel Sauce can be stored in a container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Now, you might be thinking it’d be absolutely criminal not to serve this Salted Caramel Peach Cobbler with vanilla ice cream, and you’d be entirely correct. Don’t forget to grab a quart when this dessert is on the menu.
Peach-Bourbon Upside-Down Bundt Cake
Fresh summer peaches turn sticky and sweet when baked in the bottom of a Bundt pan with butter and brown sugar. After you place the peach slices in the ridges of the pan, gently spoon the cake batter over the fruit, then smooth the top with an offset spatula.
Grilled Peach Chutney Pizza with Prosciutto and Goat Cheese
A quick homemade chutney melds deliciously with tangy red onion and goat cheese.
Peach BBQ Sauce
This BBQ sauce is nice and peachy, but ginger and mustard bring it back to classic barbecue flavors. Savory-sweet ketchup adds some depth to the sauce, and the black pepper is pronounced, but does not overwhelm the fresh peach. Using ripe peaches is important for this recipe, and depending on the sweetness and juiciness of your peaches, you may want to adjust consistency in the blender with a little water. It's the perfect finishing touch slathered on chicken legs or pork tenderloin—just make sure to brush the peach BBQ sauce on towards the end of cooking as its sugary nature makes it prone to burning if exposed to heat for too long.
Peach-Vanilla Slab Pie
The next time you need a dessert for a crowd--backyard barbecue, picnic, block party--think slab pie. You'll need to roll the dough out so that it's very thin; to make this easier, you can roll it out on parchment paper and place the whole thing, including the paper, in the pan.
Ginger-Peach Shortbread Cobbler
Guests will rave over this impressive peach cobbler.
Grilled Ginger-Lime Chicken Thighs with Peaches
Bursting with fresh flavor from minced fresh ginger and lime juice, these boneless chicken thighs are anything but a boring chicken dinner. Served alongside juicy, grilled peaches on a bed of greens with pecans and goat cheese, this hearty poultry dish makes for an easy, go-to summer supper.
Served hot or at room temperature, nothing says summer like a fresh fruit cobbler. When the dish first comes out of the oven, the fruit juice will be a little thin, but it will thicken as the cobbler sets and cools down. Peaches and blackberries come together in this easy to assemble recipe, but feel free to substitute your favorite berries or stone fruits. You can make the crumble topping mix ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator.
Easy Peach Cobbler
What could be a more perfect ending to a summertime meal than easy peach cobbler? Savor the flavors of summer with sliced fresh peaches cooking away with butter and spices. The topping can made from pantry ingredients you have on hand and peaches can easily be substituted with any fruit you have depending on the time of year. The tang of the lemon juice paired with the sweetness of the peaches is perfectly balanced with the crisp topping. Want to make dessert even better? A dollop of fresh whipped cream or cold vanilla ice cream truly makes it the perfect way to end a summer night.
Peach Upside-Down Cake
It’s just not summer without peach jam. Ours is slightly chunky but still spreadable, and very sweet with bright peach flavor. For the best possible jam, use fresh, ripe peaches in peak season—nothing can compare to a peach in its prime. We recommend using a candy thermometer, as it makes the process much easier, but we’ve also provided steps for those who prefer to go without. Spread it on toast, scoop it on top of vanilla ice cream, or use it to give your pork tenderloin or chops a juicy, summery twist.
More crumb cake-like and not syrupy like a crisp or crumble, a buckle is still all about the fruit. These homey, streusel-topped cakes are usually baked one of two ways. The cake batter can be spread on the bottom of the pan with the fruit spooned on top, or the fruit is stirred directly into the batter. We created a third method where half of the fruit is folded into the batter, which is then poured into the pan, and then the remaining fruit is arranged on top of the batter. As the cake bakes, the batter puffs up, then collapses, or “buckles,” around jammy pockets of fruit. Often made with blueberries, buckles became popular in the 1960s after a recipe appeared in Elsie Masterton’s 1959 Blueberry Hill Cookbook.
Tamarind Peach Cobbler
Tamarind paste is commonly used in savory applications (like this Tamarind Chipotle Barbecue Sauce), but provides an incredible warm depth of flavor in this rave-worthy peach cobbler. The tart paste, which is made from the dark, sticky, and sour fruit of the tamarind tree, is a popular ingredient in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, and can be found at supermarkets like Whole Foods or online.
5-Ingredient Easy Peach Hand Pies
Nothing screams "summer!" with more enthusiasm than a peach pie. But as nice as the traditional dish is, it's meant to be enjoyed sitting at the table, hopefully a la mode. Nothing against that, but sometimes you want something a little more portable because you're reading a book poolside or running around the lawn with a huge dog. That's where these easy peach hand pies come in. A flash to whip up, you can bring these easy desserts to the park, to the beach, or on your morning commute. Easy as pie.
Sweet, sour, salty, and a bit spicy, with some tomato to prevent it from going too fruity, this condiment is delicious wherever you would put regular ketchup. It's especially good on sweet potato fries, pork dishes, and chicken wings, and could be the base of a really fantastic barbecue sauce.
Oven “Fried” Chicken Drumsticks with Peach Barbecue Sauce
Cutting down on the fat doesn’t mean cutting out any flavor with this oven “fried” chicken, featuring a savory spice rub and a sweet, tangy peach barbecue sauce. Cooking your chicken at a high temperature in the oven means you won’t need additional oil in order to get super-crispy skin. Alternatively, you could also do this with an air fryer. With high, dry heat, the chicken crisps and browns with just the fat naturally present in the skin, just as it would if you were to sear it in a pan of hot oil on the stove. The combination of bold ancho chili pepper and paprika spices adds a peppery heat and aids in developing a dark caramel color as the chicken cooks. The sweet peach barbecue sauce starts with ketchup as the base and makes a great match for the chicken as it sweet tanginess cuts dry rub’s the spice. The use of a fresh peach and peach preserves gives the sauce intense peachy flavor and a substantial thickness once all the ingredients are blended together. We call for Mirin here, but if you have trouble finding it, you can use rice wine vinegar instead. The soy sauce provides the perfect kick of salinity, while the Worcestershire sauce adds another layer of acidic and umami flavors. And finally, the brown sugar rounds out the sauce for a well-balanced mix of sweet, savory, bright and bitter
Peach Blueberry Pie
Two of summer’s best crops unite to form a classic dessert you’ll want to bring to every cookout. Our Peach Blueberry Pie is sweet and fruity with a flaky crust. Using parchment paper in the oven will help catch any drippage. Truthfully, fruit pies are something that should be made a day ahead, and the longer this cools, the lower your chances of an overly juicy pie. If you have a pizza stone, use that instead of a baking sheet to aid the cooling process. Serve for dessert with vanilla ice cream, or at breakfast with a scoop of yogurt and a coffee.
Honey-Bourbon Peach Preserves
Bourbon imparts oaky richness to honeyed peaches. Don't be tempted to use a higher-proof whiskey; the flavor will be too "hot."
Blueberry-Peach Upside Down Cake
This stunning upside-down cake is the perfect, easy dessert to showcase your bounty of summer fruit. The cake is tender and moist, with just enough of a delightful toothy texture from the incorporation of cornmeal into the batter. You’ll want to use juicy, ripe blueberries and peaches for best results; however, you could use frozen fruit in a pinch—just be sure to thaw and dry throughly. A few more tips to ensure upside-down cake success: Finish incorporating the ingredients by hand, this will prevent over-mixing your way to a tough cake. Also, aim to arrange the fruit as tightly as you can in the cake pan; fruit shrinks as it cooks and you don’t want too much unadorned cake poking through. Finally, if you want to skip the cornmeal, simply swap it 1:1 with all-purpose flour (for a total of 1 1/3 cups).