Celebrate National Peaches & Cream Day
by Patrick Evans-Hylton
Peaches and cream are a natural pair, so it’s understandable why there is a national day of recognition on the calendar. And, while I like enjoying the two in a classic way, it is also fun to think outside the recipe box. My Peaches & Cream French Bread Pizza with Bacon was inspired by some of the great ingredients found at TASTE: French bread and Virginia Chutney Company Peach Chutney. At the grocery store, I picked up cream cheese and bacon at the farmers market I grabbed some peaches and fresh thyme. This pizza is great served as an appetizer, light lunch, or snack by the pool, depending on how large you cut the individual slices. Bon Appetite!
PEACHES & CREAM FRENCH BREAD PIZZA WITH BACON
INGREDIENTS: (serves 6-8)
- 8-10 slices of bacon
- 4 peaches
- 1 loaf French bread
- 2 blocks cream cheese (8 ounces each), softened
- 1 jar Virginia Chutney Company Peach Chutney
- 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme
- Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat and add bacon (a few strips at a time as not to overlap) and cook, flipping when the bacon begins to curl, about 2-3 minutes. Fry until golden brown and very crisp, and additional 1-2 minutes. Remove bacon with slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Retain bacon grease in pan and set pan aside.
- Cut peaches in half and remove pit. Place skillet with bacon grease back on stove and heat over medium heat. Place peaches, cut side down, in pan and sear for 6-8 minutes, or until cut-side of peaches brown and the fruit is slightly softened and heated. Turn the peaches and cook skin side down for 3-4 minutes. Remove peaches to a paper-towel to drain.
- Set oven to broil. Cut the French bread in half lengthwise and place side by side on a foil-lined, lipped baking sheet. Place in oven and broil until bread toasts to a golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye during broiling to make sure bread doesn’t burn.
- Crumble bacon and set aside. Dice peaches and set aside.
- Remove the bread from under the broiler, leaving the oven on. Evenly spread the cream cheese then the chutney on top. Evenly sprinkle on bacon and peaches. Place back under broiler for 2-3 minutes until top begins to bubble, careful not to burn. Remove from oven.
- Strip thyme leaves from sprigs and sprinkle on top of each half. Slice pizza and serve.
A BOTTLE FOR THE BITE
Pair my Peaches & Cream French Bread Pizza with Bacon with a bottle – or two – of BEX Riesling, a delightful German white wine offered at all TASTE locations. This light-to-medium bodied vintage has slight minerality and effervescence along with zesty citrus and bright stone fruit notes that works beautifully with the dish.You can learn more about enjoying wine – and perfectly pairing it with food – at one of the quarterly Bottles & Bites classes I host at the TASTE Hilltop store.
NOTE: Grab some fresh peaches June 25 and 26 at the Knotts Island Peach Festival, a long-standing annual tradition.
Patrick Evans-Hylton is TASTE’s resident foodie, hosting a number of delicious events throughout the year. The Johnson & Wales-trained chef and wine and cheese expert is an award-winning food journalist, covering tasty trends since 1995 in print, broadcast and electronic media. He is publisher of Virginia Eats + Drinks Magazine; subscribe free at www.facebook.com/VirginiaEatsDrinksMag