Pizza night, with a third of the new bread dough. With tomatoes and arugula from the garden;
with potatoes and blue cheese;
with roasted red peppers and sopressata;
and flatbread-like, with parm and rosemary. We love pizza.
I saved the peach skins and pits from canning last weekend, and made some Depression-era peach pit jelly - the skins and peels from a lug of peaches yielded six cups of juice, which cooked down to about five half-pints. The color on this jelly is wild - a deep, electric pink.
Pizzas take notes rather than recipes.
- We like simple pizza toppings spread with a light hand on thinly-rolled, really good crusts, kind of ersatz Neapolitan in style. We’ve used portions of wet, loose bread doughs and standard pizza doughs with extra-long ferments. It just depends.
- We use our huge baking stones (2” thick slabs of sandstone) in an oven cranked as hot as it goes (550 F). The pizzas still take 7-8 minutes to cook.
- We hit the crusts with garlic oil, pepper, and parm before topping them. It helps, especially with wet toppings.
Some combinations of toppings we like:
- fresh mozzarella; tomatoes warmed in olive oil and drained; lots of parm; torn basil and arugula after it comes out of the oven.
- slow-roasted plum tomatoes; chopped kalamata olives; goat cheese.
- boiled and sliced waxy potatoes; mild blue cheese; red onion; sometimes pine nuts or walnuts.
- fresh mozzarella; roasted red pepper; sopressata; red pepper flakes.
- rounds of grilled eggplant; kalamata olives; chopped capers; fresh mozzarella.
- caramelized onions; wilted beet greens or chard; goat cheese.
Peach Pit Jelly
Last year’s canning detritus became peach honey, which is really just a longer-cooked, more rustic version of peach jelly. I like both, though the jelly is prettier. Both are very sweet; no-sugar pectin and adjusting the sweetening might be the way to go.
Bring peach pits and skins to a boil with enough water to cover. Simmer for half an hour or forty five minutes - long enough for all the color to come out of the peach skins. Turn into a colander lined with unbleached muslin and walk away - don’t press on the skins or pulp.
For every three cups of peach juice extracted, measure three cups of sugar and one box of pectin.
Bring the pectin and juice to a full rolling boil, stirring all the while. Stir in the sugar, bring back to a full boil, and cook for a solid minute, still stirring. The mass triples in volume at this stage; it’s better to start out with a much-too-large pot than to deal with boiled-over sugar syrup.
Take off the heat. Skim foam quickly. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and process in a boiling water bath (ten minutes for half-pint jars at a mile above sea level).
I picked nearly three pounds of beans yesterday. And another pound of Juliet tomatoes.