SIZZLE SIMMER SAUTÉ–Romancing the Stone

Jennifer Alexander Ruple

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Savoring the sun-ripened fruits of summer

­­­­Nature’s late-summer gift of stone fruits is ripe for the picking. Luscious peaches, plums, apricots, cherries and nectarines are filling farm stands and markets and beckoning you to take them home. 

Take advantage of this bounty while you can and make something new such as an easy-to-prepare oven pancake topped with juicy peaches. A salad starring nectarines and plums is accompanied by tangy blue cheese and pecans. And don’t forget about dessert. Try a rustic plum pie topped with apricot glaze. 

Don’t delay. Enjoy the fruits of the season now because pumpkins are on their way.

Stone Fruit Salad with Pecans and Blue Cheese

Fresh and crisp, oh so sweet, and salty too! This salad is the perfect accompaniment to a juicy steak or marinated chicken straight from the grill.
Makes 4 servings.

4 cups mixed greens

1 nectarine, thinly sliced

1 plum, thinly sliced

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup blue cheese


1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

½ tablespoon honey

Juice from ½ a lemon

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Layer mixed greens, plum and nectarine slices, pecans and blue cheese.
To prepare dressing, combine all ingredients in a small mason jar and shake vigorously.
(Recipe adapted from

Peach Almond Oven Pancake

Take Sunday morning pancakes to a new level. This breakfast dish rises high while baking. With the peaches and their juices released from cooking, there’s no need for heavy maple syrup on this cake. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
Makes 4 servings.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup whole milk

3 large eggs

3 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced

2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

¼ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Heat the oven to 375 F. Place 4 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch ovenproof frying pan. Heat in the oven until the butter is melted, about 2 minutes. Pour out and reserve 2 tablespoons of the butter; leave the remaining butter in the pan. 

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, eggs, and reserved 2 tablespoons melted butter. Whisk until just combined. Pour into the hot pan. Bake until the edges of the pancake are puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

In another frying pan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the peaches, brown sugar, and lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peaches give off their juices and the brown sugar melts, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Remove pan from the oven. Pour the peach mixture into the center of the pancake. Sprinkle with almonds and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into wedges and serve. 

(Recipe adapted from Brigit Binns, “Let’s do Brunch,” 2012)

Rustic Plum Pie with Apricot Glaze

I cannot resist making these simple rustic pies, or galettes. Feel free to make your favorite crust recipe, or skip some of the work and use a store-bought version. Don’t leave off the topping of apricot jam; it brings a whole extra layer of flavor. 

½ cup almonds

3 large plums, pitted

1 refrigerated pie crust

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

½ cup granulated sugar, divided in half

1 egg beaten

1 tablespoon turbinado or coarse sugar

2 tablespoons apricot jam

Heat the oven to 350 F. 

In a food processor, process almonds until finely chopped. 

Cut the plums into ¼-inch-thick slices.

Unroll pie crust and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. 

Sprinkle the flour evenly over the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle the chopped almonds evenly over the flour, followed by ¼ cup of the granulated sugar. 

Arrange the plum slices on top in overlapping circles to within about 2 inches of the edge. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of sugar over the plums.

Fold the edges of the dough over the plums working your way around and creating pleats as you go.

With a pastry brush, brush the edges of the dough with the beaten egg. Sprinkle the turbinado or course sugar over the top of the crust. 

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the plums are tender and the crust is golden brown. While the pie is cooling, microwave the apricot jam for 15 seconds then brush it over the plums. 

(Recipe adapted from

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