Slideshow SLIDESHOW: 12 Sweet Peach and Nectarine Desserts for Summer

How much I appreciate a given produce item's on-season is directly proportional to how flavorless and unyielding it is during the dead of winter, when out of stir-crazy desperation I find myself wildly grabbing at overly bright fruits and vegetables from the shelves of my local supermarket. Tomatoes are the greatest culprit here (how can something so shiny-red on the outside be so pale and mealy within?) but peaches aren't far behind; you know what I'm talking about if you've ever bitten into a peach with a crunch. Peaches shouldn't crunch!

Good news for my mental health: peach season is here, which means I've been alternating between stuffing them into my mouth (no crunching here) and stuffing them into desserts. Nectarines, too! Click through our slideshow to see the peach and nectarine recipes we're loving most this summer.

What's the difference between a peach and a nectarine, anyway? Besides a slight genetic difference that keeps nectarines smooth-skinned while peaches are fuzzy, they're otherwise very similar in taste and texture, and can be used interchangeably in baked goods and desserts. The type of fruit doesn't matter so much as the quality; ideally your fruit is juicy and sweet enough to eat out of hand, but it's not even a big deal if it is less than perfectly ripe: just adjust the amount of sugar to compensate.

Pies, Crisps, and Crumbles

Nectarine Hand Pies

Nectarine Hand Pies [Photograph: Lauren Weisenthal]

Cakes

Bourbon-Roasted Peach Cheesecake

Bourbon-Roasted Peach Cheesecake [Photograph: Maria del Mar Sacasa]

Pastries

Mini Glazed Peach Scones

Mini Glazed Peach Scones [Photograph: Carrie Vasios-Mullins]

Ice Creams and Sorbet

Easy Peach Sorbet

Peach sorbet [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

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