I consider myself to be fortunate, it's because I have access to the best peaches around. I stopped by my friend's orchard the other day to snoop around. Of course I have to say hi to my geese friends and give a little love to the chickens too while I'm there. But let's not kid ourselves; I was there for the good stuff, the white peaches.
Hot Dog Dude and I had the same argument for the first 10 years of our 20 year marriage, he would always say I was too picky when I was in search of something I really wanted and nothing else would do. One day I looked and him and said, "I'm not picky - I have high standards". After all being picky implies I don't like anything. When in fact I love lots of things, I guess you could say I just know what I want. When it comes to peaches, it's Lenny's peaches I want. Now when he stumbles and says I'm being picky he usually catches himself and says, "I mean - You have high standards".
When it comes to pizza, I'd say those standards are pretty high up there. I mean if you love something, don't you want it to be the best it can be. I began my pizza recipe by re-examining the components of pizza, starting with the crust. A plain crust just wasn't going to cut it, so I decided to make this one. Can it really be, am I a pizza prima donna?
Rosemary Parmesan Pizza Crust
1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
3/4 cup water, 110 degrees
1 tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
2 tsp. olive oil
Place the yeast and warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer and let sit for 5 minutes until foamy. Add salt, flour, black pepper, Parmesan cheese and rosemary. Put the dough hook on the mixer and mix until the dough starts balling up. Let it go for 2-3 minutes more. You can do this by hand too if you don't have a mixer.
Remove the bowl with the dough and cover it with plastic wrap; let the dough double in size (about 1 hour).
Cover your cutting board with flour and place the dough on it and roll it out into a large circle about 12". If you insist on being an individualist, make it a square or a triangle or whatever else floats your boat. I like to make a little edge around the pizza with my fingers to hold in all the goodies that sit on top.
Place the dough on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray, but if you have a pizza stone all the better. I've been hinting for a pizza oven for forever, so I'm figuring with the amount of time it took to figure out the picky thing, I should have that by anniversary 40.
Drizzle the crust with a teaspoon or two of olive oil and bake it in a 450 degree F oven for 7 minutes.
1/4 cup apricot jam, melted
Brush the melted jam onto the crust. Tomato sauce just wasn't going to work for this pizza, stick with me here I really do have a method for my madness.
1-2 large white peaches, sliced 1/4" thin
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4-5 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
Sprinkle the mozzarella onto the crust, then lay the peaches on top of the cheese; add the prosciutto and then sprinkle the whole thing with the crumbled goat cheese.
Put the pizza back into the 450 degree oven and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the crust is nice and golden brown and the cheese is melted. I baked mine twice so the delicate peaches wouldn't become mushy.
This pizza hit all the right spots, the crust was perfumed and elevated from the rosemary and the cheese, the jam and peaches added the sweetness I was looking for, the salty prosciutto and of course the tang of the goat cheese. There was something for all my taste buds to enjoy and I was a happy girl.
I've seen some other similar pizzas that piqued my interest, if I missed yours, just let me know:
Thanks everyone for your sweet comments, I'm still paying catch up from vacation and my daughter's b-day and can't wait to see what everyone has been cooking. Maybe you could let me know what you think pizza heaven is!