30 Summer Fruit Recipes We Love

Don't Forget The Melon
Photo: Cedric Angeles

Fresh fruit in the summer is one of life's simple pleasures — juicy, sweet, or tart, and perfect for snacking. However, beyond the usual slices of watermelon and handfuls of blueberries, we always have a few pies, salads, and other recipes we keep bookmarked for the warmest time of year. Strawberries are turned into a cooling, refreshing granita with a honey-sweetened pesto, and apricots (or peaches, if you prefer) make a knockout dish with burrata, country ham, and arugula. Tempted? Read on for some of our favorite ways to cook and bake with fruit in the summer.

01 of 30

Grilled Pork Chops with Burst Blueberry Sauce

Grilled Pork Chops with Burst Blueberry Sauce
Photo by Jessica Pettway / Food Styling by Micah Morton / Prop Styling by Paola Andrea

Writer Nicole A. Taylor takes blueberries for a savory spin, blending the berries with shallots, thyme, and chipotles in adobo to create a sticky sauce that showcases the floral notes of the fruit, while red wine and balsamic vinegar add a tart backbone that brings the flavors into focus. This sauce pairs beautifully with almost any grilled meat; here, Taylor spoons it over juicy grilled pork rib chops.

02 of 30

Georgia Peach Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream

Georgia Peach Pie
William F. Dickey II

When you slice into this delicious pie, don't be surprised by the gap between the filling and the top crust. This happens when a pie is baked at high heat because the crust sets before the fruit in the filling has cooked down. It's worth it, since the high heat also helps the bottom crust get nice and crispy. 

03 of 30

Summer Fruit Salad with Arugula and Almonds

Summer Fruit Salad with Arugula and Almonds
© Reed Davis

Chef Suzanne Goin typically makes this savory and sweet salad with whatever fruit looks best at the market. Ripe green or black figs are some of her favorites and a couple of crushed ones can be used as the base for the vinaigrette, in place of the nectarine.

04 of 30

Mixed Berry Cornmeal Biscuit Shortcakes

Mixed Berry Cornmeal Biscuit Shortcake
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

For these shortcakes, macerated fresh berries and homemade whipped cream — flavored with vanilla and lemon zest — are served atop a buttery, tender split cornmeal biscuit for a summery dessert. The addition of cornmeal in the dough adds great texture and flavor to the biscuits. You can make them earlier in the day and then warm them back up when you're ready to serve.

05 of 30

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

This easy summer watermelon salad is ideal for eating outside under the warm sun. Watermelon and mint add plenty of refreshing flavors, while briny olives and feta offer the perfect counterpoint. Although chef Jacques Pépin cuts a small, seedless watermelon into rounds with a melon baller (adding the trimmings to the salad, too, so as not to waste them), you can chop the watermelon into cubes if you prefer.

06 of 30

Summer Plum Crostata

Summer Plum Crostata Recipe
© Ken Kochey

This elegant tart is a great option for cooking in the bare-bones kitchen of a mountain cabin, since it doesn’t require a special pan. Chef Kelly Liken uses Colorado plums, which she loves for their “beautiful tartness.” Even when ripe, the plums are somewhat tangy, thanks to Colorado’s cool nighttime temperatures. Any firm but ripe plums will work perfectly here.

07 of 30

Chilled Peach Soup with Fresh Goat Cheese

Chilled Peach Soup with Fresh Goat Cheese. Photo © Anna Williams
© Anna Williams

Chef Jason Franey makes this sweet and tangy summer soup by marinating fresh peaches overnight with dried apricots, honey, vinegar, and olive oil and then pureeing the mixture. Since peaches can vary in flavor, Franey suggests seasoning with vinegar to taste as you puree.

08 of 30

Strawberry-Mango Paletas

Strawberry-Mango Paletas
© John Kernick

When crafting new paletas for her company La Newyorkina, Fany Gerson’s rule of thumb is this: If the colors of her ingredients go together, the flavors will, too. These bright, red-and-orange-hued ice pops are perfect to make when juicy strawberries are at their peak.

09 of 30

Apricot Nectarine Julep

Apricot-Nectarine Julep
Photo by Kelsey Hansen / Food Styling by Lauren McAnelly / Prop Styling by Sue Mitchell

A puree of roasted apricots and nectarines brings out bourbon's notes of vanilla and nutmeg, making for the ultimate late-summer cocktail. Pour some of the reserved puree on top of the crushed ice for a cocktail that almost resembles a Hawaiian shave ice. The same roast-and-puree technique can be used for more stone fruits, such as plums and sour cherries. 

10 of 30

Raspberry Clafoutis

Raspberry Clafoutis
© Tina Rupp

For this classic French dessert, organic winemaker Alix de Montille swaps in raspberries for the traditional cherries to better pair with Jean-Marc Roulot’s raspberry eau-de-vie, La Framboise du Roulot.

11 of 30

Shrimp and Okra Kebabs with Grilled Peaches and Jalapeño-Bourbon Vinaigrette

Shrimp and Okra Kebabs Recipe
Photo by Tara Donne / Food Styling by Chris Lanier / Prop Styling by Raina Kattelson

A splash of bourbon in the vinaigrette adds a sweet, boozy kick of flavor and helps tenderize the shrimp in 2008 F&W Best New Chef Sue Zemanick's shrimp and okra kebabs. The kebabs are served over wedges of grilled peaches and finished with a drizzle of additional vinaigrette. 

12 of 30

Berry Ice Cream Pie

Berry Ice Cream Pie
© Jody Horton

This recipe turns out a berry ice cream pie that is as beautiful as it is deliciously refreshing. It's layered with balsamic blueberry jam and strawberry ice cream atop a graham cracker crust, then served with fresh blueberries. 

13 of 30

Grilled Apricots with Burrata, Country Ham, and Arugula

Grilled Apricots with Burrata, Country Ham and Arugula. Photo © Dave Lauridsen

© Dave Lauridsen

Here, chef Travis Lett pairs lightly charred grilled apricots with radicchio and baby arugula and tosses them in a simple lemon dressing. The mixture is then topped with shredded burrata, shaved country ham, and a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar. Depending on the season, Lett also makes this salad with plums, peaches, or pears. 

14 of 30

Strawberry Granita with Sweet Pesto

Strawberry Granita with Sweet Pesto
Victor Protasio

Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson pairs a subtly tangy berry granita with honey-sweetened pesto in this refreshing summer dessert. Choose the sweetest, juiciest berries for the most flavorful granita.

15 of 30

Chile-Coconut Watermelon Crudo

Chile Coconut Watermelon Crudo
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

This sweet, spicy, and punchy upgrade to classic slabs of salted watermelon is the palate-pleasing appetizer your cookout guests deserve. Fresh coconut water is much sweeter and has a greater depth of flavor than bottled versions, so crack open a coconut if you can. 

16 of 30

Blackberry and Mascarpone Crêpe Cake

Blackberry and Mascarpone Crepe Cake
Victor Protasio

This stunning dessert from Gail Simmons features a towering stack of French crêpes layered with rich mascarpone whipped cream, tart berries, and a little lemon zest. 

17 of 30

Vietnamese Peach Relish

Vietnamese Peach Relish
© Tina Rupp

Pioneering chef Alice Waters likes eating savory peach relishes with fish. Make sure to use peaches that are firm enough to hold their shape once diced.

18 of 30

Summer Berry Tarts

Summer Berry Tarts
© Con Poulos

Excellent-quality puff pastry (F&W likes the Dufour brand) makes all the difference to this minimalist fruit dessert. Berries simmered in a little sugar become a slightly gooey, fresh-tasting topping.

19 of 30

Sour Cherry Mezcal Margarita

Sour Cherry Mezcal Margarita
Photo by Kelsey Hansen / Food Styling by Lauren McAnelly / Prop Styling by Sue Mitchell

This fruity spin on a margarita combines smoky mezcal, citrusy Cointreau, and sweet-tart cherry puree in a vibrant red drink that suits summer sipping. Bright, pleasantly tart sour cherries are in season for a limited window, so this simple roasted puree is an easy way to preserve their flavor. 

20 of 30

Stone Fruit Salad with Collard-Peanut Pesto

Stone Fruit Salad with Collard Peanut Pesto
Photo by Jessica Pettway / Food Styling by Micah Morton / Prop Styling by Paola Andrea

In this savory fruit salad, roasted peanuts, collard greens, and Parmesan yield a hearty pesto that's the perfect partner for honey-dressed wedges of plums and nectarines. Fonio, a West African grain similar in texture to couscous, soaks up the the pesto, flavoring each bite of this salad. 

21 of 30

Peach-Blueberry Pie

Peach Blueberry Pie
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

The flavors in this pie scream summer, but thawed frozen fruit works beautifully here if fresh isn't available. The tart lemon zest and juice in the filling balance the sweetness of the fruit, in contrast to the crunchy turbinado sugar on top of the geometric pieces of pie crust.

22 of 30

Blue-Barb Jam

Blue-Barb Jam
© Christina Holmes

Instead of strawberries, fresh blueberries are paired with rhubarb in this incredibly simple and delicious sweet-tart jam.

23 of 30

Sugared Melon with Cardamom and Mint

Don't Forget The Melon
Cedric Angeles

Sugar, cardamom, and fresh mint are all you need to transform ripe melon into a memorable dessert. Muskmelons, such as cantaloupe and honeydew, are sometimes treated like an afterthought — that's why chef Vishwesh Bhatt refers to this recipe as Don't Forget the Melon. "If you have the right melon that's nice and ripe, it's just so good," he says. "Summer is just the perfect time for melons."

24 of 30

Black Rice Salad with Cherries and Plums

Cherry Plum Black Rice Salad
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Fresh plums and cherries add pops of juicy sweetness to this hearty summer salad. Black rice gives the dish a dark, moody hue and an extra textural bite. The salad builds to a delicious crescendo with its finishing touch: crunchy, craggy, blue cheese–infused breadcrumbs, which provide a lovely textural reprieve to the chewy rice and fruit.

25 of 30

No-Bake Peaches and Cream Cheesecake

No-Bake Peaches and Cream Cheesecake Recipe
Greg DuPree / Prop Styling by Christine Keely / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer

With a crisp graham cracker crust and two layers of peach puree, this no-bake dessert from F&W culinary director at large Justin Chapple is a hit. The perfect ratio of cream cheese to ricotta gives this layered cake an extra-creamy texture. 

26 of 30

Watermelon Gazpacho

Watermelon Gazpacho
© Buff Strickland

This cool, sweet-tangy riff on the Spanish staple combines watermelon with tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, and jalapeños for a delightfully refreshing bowl.

27 of 30

Peach and Blackberry Crisp

Peach and Blackberry Crisp

Julia Hartbeck

Fresh, ripe peaches and sweet-tart blackberries are baked with a buttery, delicately spiced oat and brown sugar crumble, which turns crisp and golden in the oven. Be sure to bake this dessert until the fruit juices are bubbling.

28 of 30

Strawberry-Ricotta Tartlets

Strawberry-Ricotta Tartlets
© Con Poulos

Pastry chef Heather Tirrell uses buttermilk to make the ricotta she piles on graham tartlet shells. But any good, store-bought ricotta would be fine, she says. 

29 of 30

Mama's Blueberry Buckle

Mama's Blueberry Buckle
© Keller + Keller

Cookbook author Martha Greenlaw learned to make this delicious, coffee cake–like dessert with a streusel topping from her mother. "Sometimes the cake buckles, and the top is full of sinks and holes," Greenlaw says. "But put whipped cream on it and it looks perfect." 

30 of 30

Boozy Frozen Strawberry Lemonade

Boozy Frozen Strawberry Lemonade
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall

Famed pastry chef Claudia Fleming's Boozy Frozen Strawberry Lemonade is sweet, zippy, and irresistibly delicious — exactly the kind of drink you want on a hot summer afternoon. The frozen cocktail is made with lemon vodka, Prosecco, basil, limoncello, strawberries, and lemon sorbet, and can also double as a dessert. Once frozen and blended, make sure to serve the lemonade right away so it doesn't melt. 

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