Caramelized Pear, Crispy Prosciutto + Blue Cheese Pizza.
Doesn’t this look like dessert?!
It’s not. But I mean, I guess it could be if you’re into savory things like that.
I often wonder if I will ever get sick of pizza. Telling others that pizza is your favorite food is like telling them that Dirty Dancing is your favorite movie. Heck, while I’m at it I may as well remind you that my favorite color is pink. Could I be any more TYPICAL? Probably not.
We do this thing where we order pizza or I make pizza once a week and occasionally, more than once a week. Just because of one thing or another. And either I’ll turn to my husband or he’ll turn to me – regardless of who goes first, it always happens – and say, “ugh, I’m good on pizza for awhile.” To which the other responds, way-too-full and over served, “yeah, me too.”
And then, what do you know. One week later: pizza. We’re back at it. Just can quit you, cheese and dough.
Not that this is even a pizza he would eat. It would qualify as an appetizer or maybe even a side dish, but not as “real” pizza given the absence of sauce and pepperoni. Real pizza. Whatevs. This is a snack for him. A meal for me.
We actually happened to be talking about pizza last night – how much we love it and how we fit it into our meals. Neither one of us are a fan of the pita or tortilla pizza – while it’s awesome in a pinch and can easily happen in 10 minutes or less, it just doesn’t… DO IT for us. It doesn’t curb the craving, you know? Simply put, we don’t enjoy pizza that way. We love it all doughy and gooey and terrible for us. It fits into our idea of moderation (says the girl who just ate a chunk of chocolate chip cookie dough out of the fridge at 10PM), and we’d rather eat some of our favorite chicken salads and bbq salmon during the week so we can really enjoy the heck out of a delivery or homemade pizza come Friday. And sometimes… Saturday too. Accidents happen.
In previous years, I’ve always made an autumn pizza. 2011 brought us an autumn apple pizza with bacon and 2012 brought a harvest pizza with butternut squash, sage, pine nuts and goat cheese. 2013 is throwing out some pears and brown sugar with tons of blue cheese, mostly likely freaking a whole lot of you out. Embrace the weird.
In full disclosure, I reeeeeeally wanted to top this pizza with arugula. But I feel like I’m always doing that and am just oh-so predictable. Hello, this entire post. So hey, if you have any arugula lying around? Toss if with some olive oil and salt and pile it high on top. Instant health food!
Just look at the chewy, oooey, gooey square below. Everyday deserves a slice this good.
Caramelized Pear, Prosciutto + Blue Cheese Pizza
1 1/8 cups warm water
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 semi-ripe pears, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
2 shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 slices prosciutto
6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
balsamic glaze for drizzling
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 cups flour and salt, stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work in the additional 2/3 cup flour, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1-1 1/2 hours.
While the dough is rising, heat a large skillet over low heat and add olive oil and butter. Add in the pears with the salt and nutmeg and cover, cooking for 15 minutes and stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat more if they begin to brown too much. Stir in the brown sugar and cook for 5 to 10 more minutes until golden. Set aside.
After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it back on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, form it into your desired shape (sometimes I use baking sheets and do rectangles or free form pizzas - this specific dough will yield one pizza large enough to feed about 3-4 people) and place on a baking sheet or pizza peel. Place the towel back over the dough and let sit in the warm place for 10 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (or if you're using a pizza stone or the skillet method, follow these directions). Add about three fourths of the fontina on the dough along with the garlic and shallots. Spread the pears all over the pizza and cover them with the prosciutto. Crumble the blue cheese over top and add the rest of the fontina. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly. Remove and drizzle balsamic on top.
Halfway to complete pizza domination.