Taste the summer with these fruit-based recipes

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Nanci McDermott, author of the latest UNC Press “Savor the South” cookbook series, showcases all the wonderful ways to enjoy the south’s favorite fruits all year.

Fresh Peach Chutney


  • 3 cups coarsely chopped ripe peaches
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped apple
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup chopped candied ginger (optional)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • In a 3 quart saucepan or Dutch oven, combine the chopped peaches, apple, onion, and bell pepper
  • Stir with a large spoon to mix them well
  • Add the raisins, candied ginger, sugar, vinegar, mustard seeds, dried red pepper flakes, and salt, and stir well
  • Bring to a lively boil over medium high heat
  • Stir to coat all the ingredients evenly
  • Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle but active simmer
  • Cook, stirring now and then, until the chutney has thickened a little, formed a pleasing syrup, and developed its flavor, 30 to 40 minutes
  • Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature
  • Serve at room temperature
  • Cover and store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks

Blackberry Slump


For the Blackberries

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ½ cups blackberries
  • ½ cup water

For the Dumplings

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • ¼ cup whole milk


  • To make the berry compote, combine the sugar, flour, and salt in a medium saucepan or a small Dutch oven
  • Stir with a fork to mix them well
  • Add the berries and water and stir gently
  • Place over medium high heat and bring the berries to a gentle boil
  • Adjust the heat to maintain a lively simmer, and stir well
  • Cook, stirring often until the berries are surrounded by a thickened, shiny sauce, about 5 minutes
  • Remove from heat and cover to keep warm
  • To make the dumplings, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and stir with a fork to mix them well
  • Cut the butter into small pieces and toss in the flour mixture
  • Use your hands, press and squeeze the butter to incorporate it into the flour mixture, working it until you have a lumpy dry mixture with butter pieces in large flakes and pea sized lumps
  • Add the milk and stir well to make a very soft dough, like biscuit dough only moister
  • Return the berry compote to the stove and bring to a gentle boil over medium high heat
  • Adjust the heat to maintain the boil. Using two teaspoons, or a tablespoon, scoop up the dough and drop it onto the bubbling surface of the berry compote, making walnut-sized dumplings
  • Continue, covering the berries with round distinct dumplings
  • When all the dumplings are in, reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer and cover
  • Cook undisturbed for 15 minutes
  • Check to see if the dumplings are dry and firm, and cooked through
  • Remove and pull a large dumpling apart if you aren’t sure they are done
  • Remove from heat and serve hot or warm

Strawberry Shrub


  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups trimmed and quartered strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • 3 cups sugar


  • Prepare a large glass jar, sterilizing it
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the vinegar until it is steaming hot, just about to break into a bubbling boil
  • Remove from heat
  • Place the strawberries in the jar, and pour the vinegar over them, making sure they are covered by an inch of vinegar
  • Let cool to room temperature, and then cover tightly
  • Set aside for 24 to 48 hours, making sure the jar is not exposed to heat or light
  • Strain the vinegar into a medium saucepan, leaving the berries behind in the strainer
  • Discard the berries, and add the sugar to the vinegar in the saucepan
  • Bring to rolling boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar
  • As soon as the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let the shrub cool to room temperature
  • Pour the shrub into a clean, sterilized jar and cover tightly
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months

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