Use your fresh fruit to the fullest with these 13 unique recipes

Use your fresh fruit to the fullest with these 13 unique recipes

Plum trifle, blueberry switchel, Baltimore peach cake—try making something entirely new this summer.

Three glasses of plum trifle with a golden spoon set beside them
Photo: Allison Robicelli

It’s the time of year when everything bursts into bloom (sorry, seasonal allergy sufferers), and that includes fresh produce of all kinds. Peak-season fruit is delicious enough to be eaten on its own, of course, but we have a trove of recipes that take a commonly available fruit and transform it into something entirely unexpected. This season, why not try eating your favorite fruits pickled, or dusted with spices, or layered into a trifle? Read on for some of The Takeout’s best and most inventive fruit recipes.

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Fermented Berries

Fermented Berries

Fermented Berries
Fermented Berries
Graphic: Allison Corr

The fermentation process can make your summer berries last for months instead of days. Better yet, Fermented Berries are one of those recipes that literally anyone can make even if they don’t know the first thing about cooking, much less fermentation. It can take as little as 12 hours for the berries to be ready to eat, at which point you’ll be ready to upgrade your morning cup of yogurt, fancify your grilled cheese sandwiches, or take your grilled chicken to the next level. Get the recipe for Fermented Berries here.

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Preserved Clementines

Preserved Clementines

Preserved Clementines on cheese board with brie
Preserved Clementines
Photo: Allison Robicelli, Graphic: Karl Gustafson

In spite of how simple they are to make, these Preserved Clementines have the power to make lazy weeknight dinners seem like something extra special. You can incorporate them into a use-up-everything-in-the-fridge salad to tie all the disparate elements together, or you can stir a few slices into your summer cocktails, enjoying the complex sweet-and-savory flavor they add to your usual beverage. They’re also a great addition to any cheese board, so there’s no reason to wait: Make a batch now, do nothing for four weeks, and you’ll have a top-notch condiment in your fridge, ready to blow your mind. Get the recipe for Preserved Clementines here.

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Banana Pudding Pops

Banana Pudding Pops

Banana Pudding Pops
Banana Pudding Pops
Photo: Allison Robicelli, Graphic: Natalie Peeples

This will easily get rid of that half-bunch of quickly ripening bananas on your counter. Banana Pudding Pops could more accurately be called “banana-pudding-flavored custard cake on a stick,” or, even more accurately, “pure whimsy on a stick.” Make the whole thing in a blender, or with an immersion blender, or use a food processor, but whatever it takes to make these happen in your kitchen, you should do it. Get the recipe for Banana Pudding Pops here.

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Taffy Grapes

Taffy Grapes

Bowl of taffy grapes dipped in white chocolate and crushed peanuts
Taffy Grapes
Photo: Marnie Shure

The exact origin of Taffy Grapes is unclear, but they’ve been a downright sensation in Chicago for around a decade now. Somehow, combining firm green grapes, white chocolate, and crushed peanuts results in a bite-sized treat that’s a dead ringer for taffy apples, and people can’t get enough of them. They’re made by independent suppliers throughout Chicagoland and sold through local chicken shops and even salons, but they tend to sell out quickly. When that happens, you can buy a pound of seedless green grapes and make a batch at home. Get the recipe for Taffy Grapes here.

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Baltimore Peach Cake

Baltimore Peach Cake

Tray of Baltimore Peach Cake beside a blue plate with a slice of cake and a dollop of whipped cream
Baltimore Peach Cake
Photo: Allison Robicelli

When produce is already perfect, you should do as little as possible to it. That’s the best reason to make Baltimore Peach Cake in the summertime, when peaches are at their peak: you simply make a base of puffy yeasted dough, press it into a rectangular pan, cover its surface with thick slices of fresh peaches, and that’s all. You’ll be left with a cake that’s worth waiting all year for. Get the recipe for Baltimore Peach Cake here.

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Blueberry Switchel

Blueberry Switchel

Mason jar and glass of Blueberry Switchel on wooden table in front of lush green backdrop
Blueberry Switchel
Photo: Allison Robicelli, Graphic: Karl Gustafson

Lemonade is awesome in the summertime, but who wants to cut and squeeze all those lemons? For fans of acidic drinks, there’s an easier beverage out there for you: Blueberry Switchel, a vinegar-based concoction that blends in sugar, fresh berries, and a hint of basil to create a unique warm weather sipper guaranteed to delight (and maybe even confound) all your barbecue guests. Get the recipe for Blueberry Switchel here.

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Plum Trifle

Plum Trifle

Three glasses of layered Plum Trifle beside a golden spoon
Plum Trifle
Photo: Allison Robicelli

Most cakes freeze beautifully, particularly pound cake. That means you can make a pound cake, freeze it, then cut it up into cubes and turn it into Plum Trifle whenever your summertime sweet tooth hits. No quality plums to be found in your area? No problem. You can substitute just about any summer fruit you’d like: peaches, apricots, cherries, blueberries...have we convinced you to make this yet? Get the recipe for Plum Trifle here.

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Endive Grapefruit Salad

Endive Grapefruit Salad

A white plate layered with dressed endives sliced laterally, with grapefruit slices among them
Endive Grapefruit Salad
Photo: Allison Robicelli

Endive can be tricky: it’s bitter in a way that needs to be tamed, but its bitterness shouldn’t be entirely eliminated, because that would make it taste boring. So, how does one solve for endive? Enter Endive Grapefruit Salad, a dish whose citrus fruit adds sweetness, acidity, and, most importantly, balance to this mildly bitter plate of vegetables. It comes together in about 15 minutes and makes a perfect work-from-home lunch, with leftovers for dinner. Get the recipe for Endive Grapefruit Salad here.

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Grilled Watermelon Burgers with Goat Cheese and Charred Orange-Fennel Gremolata

Grilled Watermelon Burgers with Goat Cheese and Charred Orange-Fennel Gremolata

Watermelon Burger sandwich on a white plate in the sunshine
Grilled Watermelon Burgers with Goat Cheese and Charred Orange-Fennel Gremolata
Photo: Allison Robicelli

We know, we know—you’re skeptical. That’s fine; we’re here to explain exactly why Watermelon Burgers work. The open flame of a grill transforms the surface of the watermelon slice until it’s a web of caramelized sugars and savory flecks of char. If you like your burgers with cheese, then you’ll love the tangy, salty chevre mixture we include here, which makes for a brilliant counterpoint to the sweetness of the fruit. Every aspect of this recipe is a gift that keeps on giving, just like ripe summer fruit itself. Get the recipe for Watermelon Burgers here.

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Balsamic Pickled Grapes

Balsamic Pickled Grapes

Overhead view of a cheese board with pickled red grapes, cheese, bread, and walnuts
Balsamic Pickled Grapes
Photo: Allison Robicelli, Graphic: Natalie Peeples

Variety is the key to any cheese board, and Balsamic Pickled Grapes are the perfect way to offer it. Quick-pickling fruit gives it an electric sweet-and-sour punch that cuts through the richness of full-fat cheese—and with only a handful of ingredients, these grapes contain a complex flavor profile that’ll seem like it took a lot more work to achieve. Like all the best fruits, these need not be enjoyed in moderation, so pile them high and and eat as many as you please. Get the recipe for Balsamic Pickled Grapes here.

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Blueberry Clafouti

Blueberry Clafouti

Overhead view of blueberry clafouti on wooden table
Blueberry Clafouti
Photo: Fran Hoepfner

This recipe comes courtesy of Ruby Tandoh, whose cookbook, Crumb, is full of practical and accessible baking projects. Clafouti or (clafoutis) is not a cake, nor is it a tart or a galette or a custard. Think of it as a Dutch baby’s sibling, or a blown-up crepe. While this version calls for blueberries, feel free to use whatever in-season berries or stone fruits you prefer—black cherries, plums, peaches, apricots—and it’ll bake up great all the same. Get the recipe for Blueberry Clafouti here.

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Honeydew Salad

Honeydew Salad

White plate full of Honeydew Salad with lettuce and blue cheese on wooden surface
Honeydew Salad
Photo: Allison Robicelli

You’ve probably never eaten melon this way before. This recipe for Honeydew Salad works wonderfully whether your fruit is nice and ripe or just so-so. Some of the pieces get quick-pickled for a bright and spicy flavor, while other pieces get shaved into ribbons and added to the salad just as they are. Big, beautiful leaves of Boston lettuce tie the whole thing together, resulting in a picturesque summer salad. If you’re more of a fruit eater than a veggie enthusiast, this is the perfect side dish for you. Get the recipe for Honeydew Salad here.

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Mulberry Jam

Mulberry Jam

Homemade Mulberry Jam in a small bowl on a plate with two raspberry scones
Mulberry Jam
Photo: A. E. Dwyer

Got a mulberry tree in your backyard? You have everything you need to make a delicious homemade fruit jam. Many arborists consider these “junk” trees, but their fruit is indeed edible, with a range of colors and flavors among the berries. The jam they produce is mildly sweet with a raisiny, wine-like taste and a deeply satisfying purple hue. You can enjoy it with strawberry scones and clotted cream, or on a fancy cheese plate with Camembert and crackers. Get the recipe for Mulberry Jam here.

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