Sweet, juicy peaches are a summertime treat. They are tasty in both raw and cooked form, and their flavor marries well with a wide range of other summer fruits. While you'll find several classic combinations to try, experiment with more uncommon combinations such as peaches with figs, peaches with apricots, and peaches and currants. Experiment with dried fruit instead of fresh and with fruit-flavored liqueurs such as Grand Marnier and Calvados.
Peaches have a particular affinity for raspberries. An iconic dessert -- Peach Melba -- consists of peaches drizzled with raspberry puree and served over ice cream. For a twist, first grill the peaches. Other ideas to try include layering peaches, raspberries and whipped cream in a parfait glass and top with slivered almonds. Try poaching peaches in white wine and add raspberries at the end; serve over oatmeal, on pancakes or waffles or over ice cream.
Peaches go well with almost any berry, including blackberries, blueberries and strawberries as well as lesser-known varieties such as boysenberries, marionberries and ollalieberries. Try throwing a handful of any of these berries into your next peach cobbler, pie or tart.
The sweet-tart flavor of fresh orange sets off the floral quality of peaches, making for a vibrant flavor combination. Combine fresh-squeezed orange juice with peaches in a morning smoothie; add a dash of vanilla to round out the flavors. Or dress sliced sauteed peaches with a little bit of orange juice and serve over vanilla ice cream. You could do a simple orange and peach compote over ice cream as well.
Nectarines are closely related to peaches. Their flavor is slightly different and nectarines tend to be firmer in texture, but in recipes, they essentially are interchangeable. You may use them together in any peach dish, from cobbler and upside-down cake to a simple fruit salad with berries.
Lori A. Selke has been a professional writer and editor for more than 15 years, touching on topics ranging from LGBT issues to sexuality and sexual health, parenting, alternative health, travel, and food and cooking. Her work has appeared in Curve Magazine, Girlfriends, Libido, The Children's Advocate, Decider.com, The SF Weekly, EthicalFoods.com and GoMag.com.