I'm really into combining sweet and savory ingredients, even when it comes to pizza. These combinations are popping up everywhere and I absolutely love a fun, gourmet pizza. So, ditch the tomato sauce for a night and give this sweet, salty, taste bud tingling delight a chance!
Step 1: Start with Pizza Dough. My go to recipe is Ina's (of course). Perfectly fluffy and pillowy dough, rolls out nice and thin and keeps in the fridge for a few days. Can't go wrong with that. If you're short on time, pick up some dough from your fav pizza place.
Full recipe found here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/white-pizzas-with-arugula-recipe2/index.html
For the dough:
1 1/4 cups warm (100 to 110 degrees) water
2 packages dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons olive oil (I add more like 4)
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
*This recipe makes 4 thin pizzas. Make the whole batch and freeze the rest.
Mix the dough: Combine the water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved, add 3 cups of flour, then 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed. While mixing, add up to 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the bowl.
Knead by hand: When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic.
Let it rise: Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Step 2: While the dough is rising, get all of your other ingredients together:
- Fig Preserve or Jam - I find this by the speciality cheeses at most grocery stores and always have a few on hand. It's amazing on this pizza and great for a cheese plate or even on toast. http://www.dalmatiaimports.com/Product.aspx
- Pear - you'll need 1 for this pizza
- Brie Cheese
- Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese - I like Gorgonzola on this since it's less pungent
- Caramalized Onions or Shallots *
- Fleur de Sel Salt
How I caramelize Onions:
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small pan. Thinly slice 1/2 of a larger white onion or 1 medium sized onion. Reduce the heat to low and slowly toss the onions, coating them in the butter. Add a pinch of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir occasionally. This should take around 15-20 minutes. Towards the end, as they are turning golden brown, watch closely because it will burn in a matter of seconds. Let cool and set aside.
I make this pizza in our convection toaster oven on the pizza plate that it comes with. If you don't have a convection oven, make sure your regular oven is super clean and pre-heat to 500 degrees. If you are unsure of how clean it is, it will bake just fine at 450 - it just won't be as crispy.
Step 3: Assesmbling:
Roll out 1/4 of your dough into a 12-14" circular shape to fit onto your pan. You want this to be pretty thin. This flavor combination tastes best on a thin crust. Your pizza will taste delicious no matter what shape, so if it's a rectangle or square or jagged oval, don't worry about it!
- Spread a thin layer of fig preserve all the way to the edge (I use 1-2 tablespoons)
- Thinly slice your brie cheese. Place a few slices all over the pizza. A little bit goes a long way here. Most brie comes in 8 oz packages and I used about 1/6th of the package for the whole pizza
- Thinly slice your pear and arrange in concentric circles on top of the Brie
- Spread the caramelized onions all over the pears
- Sprinkle gorgonzola cheese all over the top. Be as generous as you'd like
Step 4: Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes or 500 for 8-9 minutes
As soon as it come out of the oven, drizzle a thin stream of honey all over (pick something that isn't overly floral in taste). Sprinkle some chopped or hand torn basil and then finish it off with a little pinch of fluer de del salt. The briny finishing salt helps balance out the sweetness of this pizza.
Step 5: Slice, Serve and ENJOY!!!!
This pizza pairs really well with a spinach, arugula or dark green salad tossed in a balsamic dressing or other acidic dressing.
You'll love serving this deliciously stylish food for family, friends for any occasion!
Happy Cooking and Happy Styling!