Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pear and Cheese Pizza

I grew up eating homemade pizza, which my mother would make on our birthdays. Since I have seven brothers and sisters, we had homemade pizza relatively often. And there is just nothing like it. So, it was overdue for me to make some. Of course, growing up, we never had pizzas like these. I am quite sure I never had goat cheese growing up, probably no sheep cheese either. I'm sure I would have hated it anyway! My how our taste buds change as we grow! We had a pear tree in the back yard, but we never had pears on our pizzas either. So, I suppose this is an adult version of a childhood favorite.

I made two small pizzas. The crust is a recipe from Peter Reinhart's pizza cookbook, American Pie. Instead of tomato sauce, I brushed on olive oil that had simmered with minced garlic and fresh herbs. Then I arranged slices of roasted pears, goat cheese and Pecorino Romano (sheep cheese). I attempted to make a balsamic fig reduction to drizzle on the pies after they came out of the oven. However, I reduced it too much, and it wouldn't drizzle. We still put some glops of the resulting reduction on our pieces as we ate them, but I didn't photograph it, as it wasn't very pretty! The flavor combo was wonderful, in any event.

It's not illustrated well in the photos [added later: photo below illustrates], but the crust in the middle is super thin. When we held up the pieces of pizza to the light, there were areas that the light actually passed through, even after it baked! We used a pizza stone, and heated our oven to 550 degrees. Using our oven's option for Speed Bake convection, the top pie baked for 6, almost 7, minutes. The bottom pie baked for 5 minutes.

You can find the complete recipe for the crust here.

Above, a pizza is held to the light to show the light filtering through the bottom of the crust. The pizza toppings on this pizza are cubes of sauteed butternut squash and caramelized red onions with a bit of Manchego cheese.

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