Recipe For Health
by Chef Kurt Kwaitkowski
Featured Food: Peaches Yield: Serves 6-12Learn more about Peaches

Ingredients

  • 1 ball (16 oz.) frozen pizza dough, thawed in refrigerator overnight
  • 1 t. canola oil
  • ½ c. cream cheese
  • ½ c. Neufchatel cheese
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1 T. ground cinnamon
  • ½ t. nutmeg
  • 2 to 3 medium peaches
  • 1 pt. fresh blackberries
  • 2 t. minced fresh mint
  • 1 T. orange zest

Preparation

Preheat baking stone in 350°F oven.

Place thawed dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Let dough rest for 10 to 20 minutes until it reaches room temperature. Shape dough into 14-inch round; pinch the edge of the dough to form a ¼-inch lip around the pizza resembling a tart shell. Lightly dust a baker's peel with flour. Slide dough onto the peel; brush dough with canola oil. Slide dough from the peel onto the hot baking stone (if you do not have a peel and baking stone, place the dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet or pizza pan) and cook in 350°F oven until the crust is set, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat together the mascarpone, Neufchatel, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside.

Rinse, remove pit (remove skin, if desired) and rough cut peaches; set aside. Rinse blackberries and drain on paper towel; set aside.

After pizza is cooked, with the bottom of the crust crisp, remove from oven and let rest for 2-3 minutes. Then spread cheese mixture on the dough, and arrange peaches and blackberries over cheese mixture. Finish pizza with minced fresh mint and orange zest. Cut and serve.

Learn More About Peaches

Peach season reaches its peak in mid-summer with Michigan’s premier peach, the Red Haven, arriving in early August. These pointers should prevent some potential pitfalls when picking and preparing peaches:

  • Purchase from the producer. Supermarkets have lovely displays but don’t be deceived by their peaches’ enticing color. Red blushing appears on peach skin where it has been sun-kissed and does not mean it is ripe. Tree-ripened peaches have a creamy undertone besides the reddish patches. But the pinnacle of perfection is a peachy perfume.  
  • Refrigerating peaches before fully ripe results in a mealy texture that will not improve no matter what you do. Keep peaches at room temperature until they begin to soften along the suture line that runs from stem end to blossom end. Once ripe, peaches will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. 
  • The peach pit is easiest to manage if you know whether the variety is cling or freestone. Cut freestones in half along the suture line using a paring knife. A gentle twist will separate the halves and the pit will pop out easily. Peel the firmer fleshed clings whole and then cut slices away from the pit.   
  • If peach fuzz causes you to cringe, nectarines with their smooth, shiny skin may be just the peach for you. Removing the fuzzy peach’s skin is another option. Begin by using a paring knife to score a small x on the bottom of each peach. Then gently place them in a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds. Next, plunge them into a bowl of ice water. No matter your preference for or against fuzz, follow this method if you plan to cook your peaches since peach peel becomes tough when cooked. 

This month’s recipe features the classic combination—peaches and berries—in a pizza pie. Enjoy the taste of summer! 

Peggy Crum MA, RD

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