Marlene Gonzales of the Lone Oak Ranch has taught me many things at my hospital's farmers' market over the years. I just learned from her that different varieties of stonefruit become "freestone" at different times. It's sort of like humans who go through puberty at different ages.
The summer heat in the Central Valley has only recently caused the flesh of peaches and nectarines to pull away from the pit just a little to make it easy to remove them. When the peaches first came to our market this season, I couldn't figure out why I couldn't just halve them, twist, and have the two halves come apart like the middle of last summer. I sometimes ended up with peach mush in my hands. Thank you, Marlene. She also demonstrated getting the pit out easily from a freestone fruit. I have managed to do this wrong for years. She cuts the fruit around the equator, twists the halves apart, and pops the pit out with her thumb. I've been cutting along the polar route, and, given the slightly oblong nature of the pit, it wasn't as easy. Now that is very easy, I used my newfound skill to make a great freestone stonefruit crisp for family and friends last night.
Because Marlene's fruits are so sweet, I cut down on the sugar. I also used half the butter which left the topping a little dry in spots but it stirred in with the bubbly fruit juices and was still great. This is wonderfully tasty and not too sweet. Enjoy.