Come full-on summer, Northern Michigan’s food and drink scene is a blissed-out cornucopia of fruity food finds: Northern Michigan peaches, apricots, cherries, nectarines and plums—known collectively as both stone fruits and drupes. (Yep, we said drupes.) While direct hand-to-mouth feeding on these fresh fruits is always a sensual eat, it is also well worth the extra effort to drape your drupes in, say, a bit of mascarpone or wildflower honey, as is the case in these simply elegant Northern Michigan recipes.
Stone Fruits with Almonds, Chèvre, Ricotta and Honey
- ½ cup blanched whole almonds
- 2 tablespoons almond oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, room temperature (try Idyll Farms cheese from Northport)
- 4 ounces fresh ricotta cheese
- Assorted locally grown stone fruits, such as 2 sliced nectarines, 2 halved or whole small red or yellow plums, 2 peaches, 16 white or red cherries
- 3 tablespoons wildflower or orange-blossom honey (try Food for Thought’s Wild Star Thistle Honey)
Heat almonds and oil in a skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until almonds are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer almonds to a plate to cool; discard oil. Stir together cheeses, then mound on a platter, making a small well in the center with the back of a spoon. Surround with fruits and toasted almonds. Drizzle honey into center of cheese.
Amaretto Nectarines with Mascarpone Whipped Cream (pictured above)
- ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 3 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
- 4 large ripe nectarines, sliced
- 8 ounces mascarpone, room temperature
- 1 cup whipping cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
Combine the brown sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and let mixture cool before stirring in the amaretto. Place nectarines in a medium bowl. Pour the amaretto sugar syrup over the nectarines and toss gently to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the nectarines marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour.
Mascarpone whipped cream: with a hand mixer in a medium bowl, beat mascarpone, whipping cream, powdered sugar and orange zest for one minute or until soft peaks form. Spoon nectarines into small dishes, layering with mascarpone whipped cream. Serves 4 generously.
U-Pick Peach Crumble
- 1 Standard pie pan
- 1 1/2 lbs. ripe peaches (that’s about 8 large peaches or 12 small peaches)
- 1 cup ripe blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries (thawed frozen fruit works great, too)
- Lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour (you can substitute 2 tablespoons corn starch)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Slice your peaches to your preferred size. In a large mixing bowl, add your sliced peaches, cup of berries, zest of lemon (I like to use half the lemon’s zest), 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 3/4 cup granulated white sugar (you may only want to use a half cup if your fruit is super sweet), 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Mix these ingredients together with a large spoon. If mixture seems soupy, add a little extra flour to thicken it up. Pour mixture into a pie pan.
In large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cut your butter into small cubes, and cut them into the mixture using a pie cutter or large fork. You want the mixture to resemble a thick cornmeal, with the bits of butter evenly distributed throughout. Add in 1 1/2 cups oats and 2 tablespoons of cream. Distribute crumble over peach filling.
Place a baking sheet on the lowest rack of your oven. Cover it with parchment or aluminum foil to catch the overflow while the crumble bakes. Bake the crumble on the center rack for 45-55 minutes or until the crumble is golden on top.
Let cool for 20-30 minutes. Serve warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.