Sunday, September 16, 2012

Experimentations in Pizza

I recently served homemade pizzas at book club, and in true Patti Wagon fashion, I severely over-prepared. My mathematical skills were particularly adrift in dough measurements, and I ended up with twice as much dough as I needed. But, in true Patti Wagon fashion, I froze that dough and have been enjoying pizza experimentations for the past few weeks.

I had some dying pears in the fridge (picked directly from my aunt's neighbor's tree, nonetheless), so what better way to put them to use than in a pear pizza, right?

Experiment 1: Sweet Pear and Brie Calzone


(Brie, onion, pears, honey, pecans, and pizza dough)

1. Caramelize onions (using a touch of sugar and salt).
2. Roll out the pizza dough, and top half with onions, sliced pears, brie, pecans, and a heavy drizzle of honey.


3. Bake at 500 on a pizza stone for about 12-14 minutes. (Good thing this isn't a beauty pageant. For the calzone or pizza stone.)

The Verdict:
While tasty, this pizza was about 5 degrees to sweet to enjoy as the main meal. Don't get me wrong, I ate the whole thing, and I liked it, but it wasn't ready for the spotlight yet.


Experiment Two: Savory Pear and Brie Pizza
In addition to the ingredients pictured above, I added white wine and prosciutto to the mix.

I chose not to add any sugar to the caramelizing onions; instead, I added a splash of white wine to the pan at the end to deglaze. This was a huge move. The flavor of the onions, and in turn, the pizza transformed from sweet to savory. To further alleviate the sweetness, I was not so heavy handed with the honey drizzle.

I also liked the addition of the prosciutto for a salty element. When has the addition of pork product ever made anything worse?

I cooked this pizza in my iron skillet (in the oven at 500 for nine minutes and then one minute atop a red-hot stove eye - to finish the bottom). 

The Verdict: 
DELICIOUS! The flavors were perfectly balanced this time. I will definitely be making this again, and I can visualize it served as (adorable) mini appetizer pizzas.

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