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Food & Home

Peach Pizza with Jalapeño, Prosciutto, and Crème Fraîche

Alexandra Stafford

My aunt Marcy, my mother’s sister, befriends—best friends, I should say—everyone she meets, from the grocers at her local IGA to the folks who pick up her compost to the UPS delivery person. One May at a graduation party, Marcy took a bite of the delicious pizza being served and beelined it to the outdoor pizza oven, where she met Chris Jones, the owner of Open Hearth Pizza. During their conversation, she secured a visit to his house and a promise to teach her how to make his pizza using 100 percent freshly milled flour, a sourdough starter, and his outdoor wood-burning oven. I got the invite, too, and this is how I found myself sitting on a sunny hill in Vermont with my aunt, uncle, and oldest daughter, Ella, eating pizza and calzones, with a dog at our feet. I could write pages about what I learned that day, from the grains Chris sources and the mill he uses to his mixing and baking process, but I’ll skip straight to the highlight instead: this white pizza topped with peaches, jalapeños, and prosciutto, a combination that hits all of those sweet, spicy, salty notes, making it completely irresistible.

1. Prepare the dough: Transfer the dough from its storage container to a roomier, lightly floured, covered container and allow it to proof at room temperature for 1½ to 2 hours.

2. Prepare the oven and pizza peel: About 1 hour before you want to bake the pizza, place a baking steel in the top third of the oven and preheat it to 550°F convection roast (or as high as it will go). Dust a pizza peel lightly with semolina flour or top with parchment paper.

3. Stretch the dough: Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Using lightly floured hands, pat the dough gently to flatten it, then stretch it into a 10- to 11-inch round by laying it on the back of your hands and gently rotating it, taking care not to depress the beautiful air pockets in the dough. If the dough begins resisting, set it down on the work surface to rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then continue stretching. Transfer the stretched dough to the prepared peel and give it a shake to ensure it’s not sticking.

4. Top the pizza: Spread the crème fraîche over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border. Top with the jalapeño and peach slices, spacing them evenly. Scatter the mozzarella evenly over the top. Lay the prosciutto slices over the top, spacing evenly. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Stretch the dough one last time by pulling outward on the edges. Redistribute the toppings as needed, then give the peel one last shake to ensure the dough is not sticking.

5. Bake the pizza: Shimmy the pizza (still on the parchment if using) onto the steel and bake until the cheese is melted and the edges are beginning to char, 5 to 6 minutes. (This may take 8 to 10 minutes, depending on your oven.)

6. Use tongs to transfer the pizza to a cutting board (discard the parchment paper). Cut and serve.

From Pizza Night, copyright © 2024 by Alexandra Stafford. Photographs copyright © 2024 by Eva Kolenko. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Crown Publishing.