Monday, September 6, 2010

Peachzza, two ways.

It struck me while blanching peaches for some homemade poptarts the other day - texturally, there's some shared qualities between a perfectly ripe tomato and ready to eat peach. Both acidic, fleshy, moist. Both seriously gorgeous. And both, lucky me!, readily available (although, as I'm sure my fellow NCers can attest to, my tomato crop has been pretty lame this year). Since I had a bag of frozen pizza dough hanging in my fridge, courtesy of Nova's (seriously, I like theirs more than P+P's even), it was most surely time to stick some peaches on a pie. Did we go with mozz? Nope, fontina and a scattering of smoked gouda. Was it awesome?


The "two ways" - one, sliced peaches instead of sauce. Two, sauce made by blanching and peeling, then reducing peaches with olive oil in a saucepan for a more saucelike effect. Verdict - equally delish - the sauced version far subtler in peachy taste.

Peachzza, way 1:

10 inch pizza crust, or a half recipe of this dough
Small handful cornmeal
1/2 pound fontina, shredded
1/4 pound smoked gouda, grated
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 tablespoons olive oil
Chives, minced

Heat your oil over medium heat in a medium pot, add your onion, cover. Brown them gently, until each ring has a smattering of brown. Keep going until you have deeply caramelized areas throughout your onions, about 30 minutes.

Slice your peaches in half and remove the pit. Slice them thinly, about 1/8 inch thick, and lay them out on your cutting board. Salt them gently, and sprinkle with fresh grated pepper. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 475f.

Using the technique described here, shape your crust. Scatter some cornmeal across your stone or pizza pan.  Scatter your onions across the crust, and cover with concentric rings of sliced peaches. Scatter your fontina first, then your gouda, over the crust.

Bake on the center rack of your oven for 15 minutes, or until crust has browned on the bottom and your cheese is melted, but beginning to brown around the edges. Sprinkle with your fresh chives, let sit 5 minutes, slice and serve.

Way Two: Peach Sauce for Peachzza.

4 medium or 3 large peaches, scored with an X on the bottom
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Bring a pot of water to boil and fill a bowl with ice and water in your sink. Plunge your peaches, one at a time, into the boiling water - 20 seconds for smaller peaches, 30 seconds if they're larger, then into the bowl of icewater. Peel them. Cut in half, remove the pit, then chop (carefully! They're slimy).

In a saucepot or dutch oven, heat your olive oil over medium heat. Add your garlic, saute a bit. Toss your peaches in and stir well. Add a splash of water (or sherry, mwahaha). Add your sugar, salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer, covered. The tricky part is that peaches are higher in sugar content that tomatoes - they're going to stick more readily while you attempt to reduce them to sauce. The key is to stir frequently and add handfuls of hot water as needed until you have a thick, orange sauce.

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