What goes well with peaches? Learn the best ingredient pairings, meal ideas, popular flavor combinations, and other helpful tips.
What are Peaches?
Peaches are round, fuzzy-skinned fruit about 2-3 inches in size with a hard pit (or stone) and sweet flesh that's either yellow or white. There are only three types of peaches: yellow, white, and donut (an heirloom variety with white flesh).
All the peach varieties fall under two categories though: freestone and clingstone.
Freestone vs Clingstone Peaches
With freestone, the flesh is not attached to the pit, which makes for easy removal. This type is ideal for cooking, baking, and eating.
Whereas with clingstone, the flesh is attached to the pit, which explains why you sometimes get a peach that feels nearly impossible to remove the pit.
Clingstone peaches are usually a little sweeter and juicier which makes them ideal for canning and preserving, or eating (around the pit).
Where to find them: Supermarkets most often sell the freestone variety and farmer's markets are where you'll typically find clingstone. If you're not sure what you're getting, just ask the farmer you're buying from.
When to Buy
The peak season for peaches is late spring through early autumn. Peep the seasonal produce guide to see what's in season right now.
What to Look For
Look for peaches that feel heavy for their size and give a little with gentle pressure. They'll also smell sweet. They're unripe when hard, and overripe when soft and mushy. The color has to do more with the variety than the ripeness, so don't use that as a gauge.
Peaches will ripen if kept at room temperature within a day or two. Once ripe, store in the refrigerator for no more than 2-3 days.
Peaches can be baked, broiled, grilled, poached, roasted, sauteed, stewed, or eaten raw.
What Ingredients Go Well With Peaches?
Arugula, chile peppers (jalapenos, etc), onions (esp yellow), and watercress.
Apples, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, coconut, figs, lemon, lime, nectarines, oranges (juice, zest), papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, plums, raspberries, and strawberries.
Basil, bay leaf, lemon thyme, mint, tarragon, and thyme.
Nuts & Seeds
Almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts.
Alcohol: bourbon, brandy, Champagne, cognac, cointreau, Grand Marnier, orange and peach liqueurs, rum, whiskey, wine (fruity or dry red/white or sweet), chocolate (white and dark), currants, maple syrup, molasses, oatmeal/oats, olive oil, sugar (brown, white, coconut), vanilla, vinegar: balsamic, champagne, apple cider, red wine, and white rice.
Popular Peach Pairings
- apples + vanilla
- blueberries + mascarpone
- cream + honey + vanilla
- figs + maple syrup
- ginger + sugar
- orange liqueur + vanilla
- yogurt + sugar
What to Make With Peaches
Peaches are a common ingredient used in cocktails, custards, desserts and dessert sauces, fruit crisps, salads, salsas, and cold soups. Try out these peach recipes:
- Peach Panzanella Salad
- Blueberry Peach Cobbler
- Spiced pear oatmeal (use peaches instead of pears) or add slices to cold cereal
- grill peach halves & top with vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of chopped nuts