By Meda Kessler
Photos by Aaron Dougherty
Styling by Meda Kessler

There are few things that match the joy — or messiness — of eating a perfectly ripe peach. You need to keep a towel handy, because you will get sticky from the abundance of juice, and we dare you not to slurp. Keep things tidier with these recipes that are no less flavor intensive even though they call for eating utensils. If you’re looking for home grown, check out the annual Parker County Peach Festival July 13 in Weatherford

Grilled Peaches with Honeyed Mascarpone

Featured on this month’s cover, this summer-perfect dessert combines warm fruit and cool, creamy mascarpone cheese sweetened with honey.

Serves 4 to 6

  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey, plus more for drizzling
  • ½ cup almonds or hazlenuts, roughly chopped
  • 4 to 6 semi-ripe peaches, halved and pitted
  • Melted butter
  • Fresh thyme

Add cold mascarpone to a small bowl, and mix in vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of honey. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Toast nuts in a small skillet over high heat, being careful not to burn.

Fire up the grill (a grill pan also works on the stovetop). Brush cut halves of peaches with a bit of melted butter and grill on flat side only for 3 minutes or so, until peaches are slightly softened. Using tongs, remove to individual plates or bowls. (Trim a small slice of peach off the rounded end to make it stand up easier.)

To serve, scoop a tablespoon or so of mascarpone mixture into the center of the peach, sprinkle with toasted nuts and drizzle with a bit of honey. Add a sprig of thyme for garnish.

Peach-Berry Salsa

The peach is the star here, but feel free to substitute cherries for the blueberries. We use this sweet-spicy mixture to top a wheel of brie, but it’s also good on pork, chicken and in tacos.

  • 1½ cups fresh blueberries
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 peaches, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper jelly or spicy honey

Roughly chop half of the berries
(if using cherries, pit ahead of time).

Mix with rest of the ingredients plus remaining whole berries and refrigerate until needed. Pour off any excess liquid if using on a cheese board. Garnish with a bit of basil.

Peaches in Wine

This simple dessert is ideal for hot days. Slice ripe peaches into a bowl and sprinkle with a little sugar, if you’d like. Add slices to a rocks or wineglass and cover with your choice of sparkling, dry white or red wine. Refrigerate for several hours until peaches soften. Serve with a sprig of mint.