Have you ever had ricotta peach pie? If not (and if you also happen to live near Philly), do yourself a favor: get in the car and drive your deprived self to The Red Barn Cafe in Hammonton, NJ—RIGHT NOW. Tell someone to take you to the pie lady, and you'll soon be gaping at a counter stacked Tetris-style with the kinds of pies that you just know are transcendent. The kinds that look like cooked bowls of fresh fruit topped with just the right amount of crumble. Or creamy pools of cheese studded with the jewel-toned curvature of fresh, peeled peaches. Even better if you get to chat with the baker/owner, Evelyn Penza, who will help you pick the perfect pie for your tastes or mood. She's the one who introduced my mother to the ricotta peach pie, decades ago on our way to the Jersey shore, and that pie is the first thing I think of when ripe, local peaches finally show up at the market. (To learn more about Penza's Pies, check out this recent article in Edible Jersey.) It's no wonder that my first peach pizza of the season is also a ricotta one.
You could totally emulate Penza's sweet pie with sliced peaches, dollops of ricotta, and a post-bake honey drizzle, but I prefer my peach pizza on the savory side. The only time consuming part is peeling and slicing the peaches. Then, it's just oiling and seasoning the dough, arranging the peaches, prosciutto, and ricotta on top, and baking. The peaches cook just enough in the oven, and you bring home that savory-sweet flavor with a garnish of torn fresh basil leaves and a shmancy drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Are there any summer flavor combos you look forward to all year? Any peach recipes you'd like to see pizzafied? Leave a note in the comments below!
Peach Pizza with Ricotta and Prosciutto
- 1 (14 to 16-inch) ball pizza dough
- extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium peaches peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
- 1.5 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto torn into 2-inch pieces
- 2/3 to 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- fresh basil leaves torn
- high-quality balsamic vinegar
- Place your pizza stone or steel (if using) on an oven rack in the middle of your oven. If you plan to cook your pizza on a baking sheet, just place a rack in the middle of the oven (you do not need to preheat the baking sheet). Preheat the oven to 500°F (or the highest temperature your oven will allow, if using a pizza stone/steel) and let it heat up for at least 30 minutes while you make the dough and/or prep the toppings.
To stretch or roll out the dough
- Place the dough on a clean work surface and, using your hands, gently stretch it into a 12-inch circle or square, making sure that it retains an even thickness throughout. Alternatively, use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 12-inch circle or square.
- If you’re using a pizza stone or steel: Dust a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet lightly with flour or cornmeal. Place the dough disk on the prepared peel.
- If you’re using a baking sheet: Spray the baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the dough disk on the prepared baking sheet.
To top the pizza
- Brush the dough all over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Tile on the peach slices, then tuck in the prosciutto pieces, spacing them evenly. Dollop the ricotta on top in small spoonfuls.
To bake the pizza
- If you’re using a pizza stone or steel, 20 minutes before you are ready to cook the pizza, increase the oven heat to broil. Slide the pizza from the peel (or inverted baking sheet) to the hot stone or steel using quick shimmying movements. Broil the pizza until the crust is nicely browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Using the peel or inverted baking sheet, transfer the cooked pizza to a cutting board. If you are making more than one pizza, allow the pizza stone or steel to reheat under the broiler for 10 minutes before you cook the next one.
- If you’re using a baking sheet, do not increase the oven to broil. Place the baking sheet on the rack in the middle of the oven and bake until the crust is nicely browned, about 10 minutes.
- Immediately after you remove the pizza from the oven, drizzle it with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt. Then garnish with the fresh basil leaves and drizzle with some balsamic. Slice and serve.