12 Recipes To Make With End-Of-Summer Peaches

Peaches are one of the most highly anticipated fruits of the summer. Yet, the sweetest, juiciest varieties keep us waiting until August, designated National Peach Month (per Fresh Forward Farms). 

With a familiar fuzzy exterior and succulent yellow (or white) interior, peaches are incredibly versatile. Their natural sweetness and juiciness lend well to baked, stewed, or sautéed preparations. Pies, crisps, crumbles, and cobblers benefit from a jammy peach filling and buttery toppings. Roasting or sautéing concentrates the natural sugars and can be served over ice cream or in a light summer salad with feta cheese and candied walnuts. Homemade peach purée is also great for cocktails or sweet and tangy glazes or barbecue sauce. Then, of course, a fresh peach — whether sliced and served with molten burrata cheese or a top of a tart shell filled with pastry cream — serves to remind us all of late summer days with peach juices dripping down our chins. 

While prime peach season is fleeting, the preparation possibilities are endless and well worth the wait.

1. Simple peach crisp

Look no further than this simple homemade crisp recipe if you have any borderline overripe peaches left in the back of the fruit drawer. The recipe starts with sliced, juicy fresh peaches sweetened with sugar and almond extract. Then, the buttery crisp topping, packed with nutritious oats, warm ground cinnamon, and caramel-y brown sugar, surround the exposed peaches and awaits thickened juices to bubble up the sides of the casserole dish in the oven. When the crisp emerges from the oven, serve it with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream.

Recipe: Simple Peach Crisp

2. Easy baked peaches

Roasting or baking fruit is one of the best ways to concentrate its natural sweetness, and peaches are no exception. These baked peaches warrant a maple syrup glaze fortified with melted butter, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. After the peach halves are glazed, they bake at 350 F. Thirty to 40 minutes later, the fruit is tender and teeming with sweet peachy juices. The best part? The peaches can be baked ahead of time and later served with vanilla ice cream, homemade streusel topping, or a drizzle of naturally sweet heavy cream after dinner.

Recipe: Easy Baked Peaches

3. Easy peach tart

This seven-ingredient peach tart is the epitome of simple elegance. In less than an hour, golden peaches transform store-bought pie crust into a dinner party masterpiece. The recipe calls for canned peaches, but fresh will also work if peach season is thriving. Sweetened peach slices are spread onto a pie dough round, leaving a 2-inch border around the edges to fold over the fruit and create a browned crust after baking. The tart is delicious, served with whipped cream, caramel sauce, or vanilla ice cream, and best eaten the same day it's baked.

Recipe: Easy Peach Tart

4. Easy peach bread

Quick bread isn't just for Fall and pumpkin spice. Add peeled and sliced fresh peaches to an easy vanilla batter, and you'll have a sweet summer bread ready for al fresco breakfast and picnics in the park. Fresh, frozen, or canned peaches add juiciness to a sweet vanilla batter. After the dry and wet ingredients are mixed, the recipe advises gently folding in the peach slices and baking in a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. After baking the bread, let it cool slightly before slicing and smearing with butter.

Recipe: Easy Peach Bread

5. Easy peach melba

Peach Melba is more than a century old, and its bold peach flavor is why we still clamor for it on hot summer days. This four-minute recipe makes excellent use of store-bought raspberry jam and ice cream. Although it's written for canned or jarred peaches, succulent fresh peaches warmed by the heat of the sun will work, too. A little warm water thins the jam before it's strained to remove the seeds. Serve the peach halves in a bowl or individual cup with vanilla ice cream and the smooth raspberry sauce.

Recipe: Easy Peach Melba

6. Peach Caprese salad

In addition to pies and crumble bakes, cooking with peaches is a great way to add a complex sweet element to an otherwise salty dish. A classic mozzarella, fresh tomato, and basil Caprese salad is a refreshing mainstay during the summer months. An easy salad for picnics or pot lucks, this Caprese is full of juicy tomatoes, fresh peach slices, and creamy mozzarella cheese and dressed with balsamic vinegar, salt, and freshly chopped basil. Eat on its own, serve with grilled pork chops, or chop finer to make a peachy homemade bruschetta.

Recipe: Peach Caprese Salad

7. Classic peach Bellini

A refreshing peach Bellini is only 10 minutes and four ingredients away. First, peel and chop juicy end-of-summer peaches — even if they're on their last legs — and purée them in a food processor with a little lemon juice and sugar. After the mixture is strained to create a lusciously smooth purée, one to two tablespoons of the peach elixir is added to individual glasses and topped off with Italian Prosecco. If you like your Bellini on the sweet side, add a bit of extra sugar to taste. Serve at your next brunch gathering.

Recipe: Classic Peach Bellini

8. 15-minute peach crumble

Baked peach desserts usually require 40 minutes of prep and cooking time minimum. But if you're crunched for time, make this 15-minute peach crumble without sacrificing traditionally juicy, warming peach flavor. Fresh peel-on sliced peaches are sautéed in butter until caramelized with cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and — plot twist — a sprig of fresh thyme. The peach juices and sugar create a syrup as if they were stewing away for hours on the stove. Instead of a crumble topping, easy crush ginger biscuits provide texture. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe: 15-minute Peach Crumble

9. Texas-style peach cobbler

Cobbler is a cousin to the crumble. Texas cobbler, however, reverses the fruit and crumble order. A whole stick of salted butter starts in a 9x9 inch baking dish and is sent to the oven to melt. After that, a batter of flour, sugar, and milk is spread on top of the melted butter. Then, sliced fresh peaches nuzzle in, nearly covering the batter's surface and forcing melted butter pools to glaze the fruit. Keep an eye on the cobbler — slightly browned peaches are your cue to remove the cobbler from the oven. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe: Texas Style Peach Cobbler

10. Peach crumble bars

Ditch the plates and forks and whip up a batch of jammy peach crumble bars instead. Conveniently hand-held, these peach bars are super easy to make. First, half the dough — a mixture of flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, butter, and egg — is pressed into the bottom of the baking dish. Next, chopped peaches, mixed with lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch (to tame the fruit's juiciness), are spread over the crust. Then, the other half of the crumble is sprinkled evenly on top. Ice cream or whipped cream is optional but highly recommended.

Recipe: Peach Crumble Bars

11. Easy peach pudding

Don't mistake this peach pudding for the pudding cups you see in the refrigerator section of the grocery store. Instead of a thick custard base, the "pudding" component is more like a batter. All at once, butter, cinnamon, eggs, flour, baking powder, milk, and granulated sugar are mixed together until the consistency resembles the texture of pudding. Meanwhile, blanched whole peaches (blanching helps remove the peel) are sliced and thrown into a casserole dish with sugar. The batter goes on top of the peaches, and then a syrup of brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and water is spooned over the pudding before, during, and after the pudding bakes. Whipped cream, ice cream, or yogurt are all suitable garnishes.

Recipe: Easy Peach Pudding

12. Fresh peach pie

It's only fitting to end this round-up with a classic peach dessert: pie. In this case, a homemade crust is key for remarkable flakey layers that encase a filling of sweet and tender peaches. For the filling, lemon juice and zest dress sliced peaches before they're tossed together with brown and granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and tapioca starch. When it comes time to assemble, leave excess peach juices in the bowl. The baked and cooled pie can be frozen and saved for up to three months.

Recipe: Fresh Peach Pie