In case you missed it, my column in Thursday’s Go! section of the Monterey Herald focused on my favorite summertime stone fruit dishes around town. I’ll be reposting my reviews and stories from my weekly column for the Herald here on my blog along with extra photos that didn’t appear in print.
Nothing quite says summer like a slice of peach pie topped with a big spoonful of vanilla ice cream. From peaches to plums and everything in between, summer’s stone fruits have been making a splash on local menus. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve enjoyed many delicious stone fruit dishes while dining out and about around town.
Some of my favorite stone fruit treats have come from Parker-Lusseau Pastries (Monterey). This patisserie incorporates many seasonal fruits into their menu of classic French pastries. On my most recent visits, our local bounty of stone fruits has made for particularly tasty pastry combinations.
Last week, I had a phenomenal white nectarine croissant ($3.50) for breakfast. The croissant dough was so light and flaky — the perfect canvas for the cubes of juicy white nectarines on top. The sugary fruit was perfect atop the buttery pastry.
And this weekend, the pastry case also included pluot croissants ($3.50). Pluots are a cross between plums and apricots, with flavors leaning more towards the plum side of the family tree.
While pluots are a darling of local farmers markets, they’re not often seen in restaurants or bakeries around town.
It’s not just croissants getting the stone fruit treatment — there’s apricot kouign-amann ($4) too.
Literally translating to “butter cake,” kouign-amann is a Breton specialty from western France. Made with folded layers of dough, butter and sugar, I liken it to a croissant folded into a muffin.
The juicy apricots are a perfect partner for the dense dough underneath.
If you’d like to try some of the stone fruit pastries for yourself, remember, Parker-Lusseau’s shop on Munras Avenue is closed until Aug. 22. But the bakery is going strong and the adobe on Hartnell Street — next door to the Post Office — and the shop in Ryan Ranch are still open.
Several other bakeries have incorporated stone fruits into their sweet treats for the summer.
Red House Cafe (Pacific Grove) is famous around town for delicious pies and other desserts. One of my favorites is apricot pie ($6.95 per slice) — only available during the summertime apricot season.
I ordered a slice for dessert the other night. It was filled with a dense layer of apricot, the fruit filling sweet, with just a touch of tartness. The apricot made for a great contrast with the buttery, flaky pie crust underneath.
And when I visited Pastries and Petals (Carmel) for lunch on Sunday, I couldn’t resist trying a slice of plum galette ($3). The plums were brought in by a neighbor from a tree in his yard — is there anything more quintessentially summer than a tart made with backyard fruits?
Be sure to follow Pastries and Petals on Facebook for the latest scoop on the shop’s menu additions — and keep an eye out for more plum pastries in the future.
Stone fruits aren’t just for sweet treats — a growing number of restaurants are incorporating stone fruits into their savory selections.
Locally, look for grilled peaches seasonally on the menu of tasty tapas at Estéban Restaurant (Monterey). The tender peaches are charred and served with creamy goat cheese and greens.
When I dropped into La Bicyclette (Carmel) for lunch the other day, I enjoyed a delicious local stone fruit salad ($8).
The salad started with bitter arugula, tempered with a mix of sweet, juicy stone fruits, including vibrant orange peach slices and halved purple plums.
Some crumbled goat cheese gave the salad a rich creaminess, with some almonds thrown in for a little bit of crunch too.
The calendar is soon turning to fall — already you can feel the summertime sun waning — so be sure to grab the last of our local summer stone fruits before it’s too late!
What are your favorite stone fruit dishes around town? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @offthemenu831.