August always ignites my anticipation for our family reunion, "The Roland Summer Spectacular."
Our family gathers each year at my Uncle Gale and Aunt Dawn's home in Danville, Pa., for a weekend of quirky games, amazing food and chicken chasing.
Gale and Dawn Roland grow a plethora of farm fresh produce at their Windy Sunrise Orchard, including sweet summer peaches.
On Sunday afternoon before departing, our family heads into the orchard to pick bushels full of the succulent fruit to take home. My uncle always taught me: "Give a peach a good sniff. If it smells good, it will taste good too."
I use this trick regularly now and it works every time! After sniffing dozens of peaches, and eating a few along the way, I always leave with more fruit than I can handle.
August is the month of stone fruits, like nectarines, plums, apricots and peaches. They taste the best and cost the least right now.
Freeze, can, bake, grill and slice away! Give my Rustic Summer Stone Fruit Tart a try while you're in the kitchen. It's an easy and impressive dessert that works well with any stone fruit. I like to mix peaches and plums as shown here.
Visit a farmers market, orchard or grocery store to stock up or better yet, take a trip to Windy Sunrise and tell my aunt and uncle I said hello!
Summer Stone Fruit Rustic Tart
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 28-30 minutes
Total cost: $5.75
3-4 cups of your favorite stone fruit, like peaches, nectarines, plums or apricots, sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons flour, plus more for dusting
1 storebought unbaked pie crust, (they come rolled in boxes of two, but you will only use one)
1 tablespoon milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, add the sliced stone fruit, brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and flour. Gently fold the mixture together to combine and coat the fruit slices.
Take the pie crust out of the plastic and gently unroll it onto a lightly floured surface. Take your rolling pin and roll the crust out flat about 1/2 inch beyond the original size. Re-roll the crust up onto your rolling pin for easy transfer and place the crust onto the parchment paper. Gently lay the fruit filling in the middle of the crust and spread it out, but leave an inch of crust free of filling.
Fold in the excess crust over the filling with your fingers and press any open holes or cracks together. Brush the crust lightly with milk. This makes it golden and shiny after baking.
Bake the tart for 25-30 minutes or until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut into 8 slices and serve.
Nutritional information: calories, 181; total fat, 7.2 grams; saturated fat, 3 grams; sodium, 143 milligrams; carbohydrates, 32.2 grams; fiber, 1.5 grams; sugar, 16.2 grams; protein, 1.8 grams; cholesterol, 5 milligrams.
Lauren Kudlawiec lives with her husband, Bryan, in Ebensburg and teaches at Penn Cambria High School. She took second place in "The Great American Cookbook Competition" on "Rachael Ray"?this year and is currently writing her first cookbook about healthy and affordable cooking. She also demonstrates recipes on WTAJ's "Central PA?Live" every Wednesday.