I’ve interviewed countless farmers and orchard owners in my years as a food writer, and they’ve all said pretty much the same thing— that the best way to savor summer’s ripest fruits is to eat them plain, out of hand, standing over the sink to catch the juice.

I agree that a perfect peach or a golden plum still warm from the sun doesn’t really need much dressing up, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. When the farm stand is filled with blueberries, blackberries, pears, plums and peaches, I need to start baking, turning out cobblers, cakes and pies bursting with summer flavor. Nothing fancy— just simple desserts that bring back memories of family reunions and summer barbecues.

And while the season’s fruits are at their peak, fill the freezer. All of the following recipes can be used with frozen fruit for a taste of summer all year-round.

Peach Crumb Cake

Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

Plum Upside-Down Cake

Ginger-Berry Cobbler

Chocolate Nut Zucchini Cake

Pears Stuffed with Amaretti

Kendi O’Neill is a freelance food writer based in Frederick. She is the author of two cookbooks, “In the Kitchen with Kendi,” Volumes I and II.

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