Friday, October 11, 2013

Whole Wheat Pizza Topped With Caramelized Pears, Prosciutto, Blue Cheese & Balsamic Glaze

I promise I'm not exaggerating... you HAVE NOT LIVED until you've had this pizza!!  It has officially made our list of, "If you could have one last meal what would it be?"

Brian and I both agreed that it's probably our favorite thing that I've ever made. Ever.  If you're from Tennessee then you know how serious I am when I tell you that this rivals any Scratch Pizza or Cooties  pizza on the menus.  That's serious talk right there.

The crust is a whole wheat crust that is perfectly crispy with toppings that blend so well together.  A perfect combination of sweet, savory, and bold.  It can easily be made veg friendly by leaving off the prosciutto.

Please, please, please do yourself a favor and make this pizza.  The other option is for you to come to Pennsylvania and Brian and I would LOVE to make it for you and serve you with the most perfect beer to go along with it.  

Brian's beer of choice this evening.
This process does take a while because it involves a homemade crust that has to have time to rise.  No big deal... throw the crust together in a few minutes and leave it for an hour or so while you read a few chapters in your favorite novel or fold some laundry.


Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
1 1/8 Cups Luke Warm Water
3 tsp Active Dry Yeast
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Tbs Honey

Mix the water, yeast, olive oil, and honey together in a bowl.  Stir together and let sit for approximately 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes you will notice that there are "bubbles" forming.  At this point you can add 2 cups of whole wheat flour. Save the other 2/3 cups to add after stirring the first 2 cups in.  After you stir the first 2 cups in the dough will be very sticky.  Now add the remaining 2/3 cups.

Even after  I added the second batch of flour my crust ended up pretty sticky and wasn't forming into a ball.  I slowly added All Purpose Flour until it started behaving and stuck together in a ball.  Remove the ball of dough from the bowl and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the bowl.  Toss the ball of dough back in an coat with the olive oil.  Cover with a dish towel and leave it for at least an hour (better to wait 90 minutes) in a warm place.

After you've waited 90 minutes and you're feeling super productive because you've been able to multitask during this step, return to your dough.  Punch a hole in the dough to release the air and knead with your hand for a minute or two.

FLOUR YOUR WORK SURFACE!!  I made this mistake and we had a sticky, sticky mess.  Flour a piece of parchment paper and place your dough on top.  Use a rolling pin to roll out your dough to a thickness of approximately 1/4 - 1/2 inch.  Flip over onto a pizza stone.  We dusted our stone with All Purpose Flour and corn meal to prevent the pizza from sticking to the stone.  It gave it a perfect, crispy crust.

Let the rolled out crust sit for 10 minutes to allow it to rise and then add the toppings.


2 Pears (I used Asian pears)
1 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Tbs Unsalted Butter
2 Tbs Light Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Nutmeg

6-9 ounces freshly grated Fontina cheese (the block I bought said 9 ounces, but once I removed the wax I'm sure it was a bit less)
2 Shallots
4 Garlic Cloves
5 Prosciutto Slices
3 Ounces Blue Cheese

Preparing your toppings could be a good task to take care of while you're waiting on your dough to rise.  Though it definitely won't take you the entire time.

Start the pears first.  Cut them in half lengthwise and remove the core.  Then slice thinly.  I cut them in half again so my slices weren't quite so long.  Add olive oil and butter into a skillet on medium heat.  Add pears, salt, and nutmeg. Cover and sauté for 15 minutes.  Add brown sugar, stir together, cover again and sauté for 10 more minutes.

Shred Fontina cheese, mince your garlic, and slice shallots into thin slices then separate the pieces.  Keep all of these separated in different bowls.

Cut prosciutto into 1/4- 1/2 width slices and then cut the slices into 3-4 pieces. You should end up with pieces that are 1/4 inch by 2 inches.  This is just personal preference but the small pieces worked really well for us.

Putting It All Together

Brush crust with olive oil.  Add 3/4 of the fontina cheese.  Dispense shallots and garlic equally over crust.  Add pears equally over crust and then add prosciutto.  Add 3 ounces of blue cheese crumbles.  Top with the remaining fontina cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheese brown.

After you put the pizza in the over start working on the balsamic glaze.  I would wait unit your pizza has been in for 15 minutes or so and then start the glaze.

Heat saucer on medium and add 1/2 balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp honey.  Bring to boil and it will (finally!) begin to thicken.  Be patient... it takes a while.  

Your pizza will most likely be done before you glaze is finished.  This is good because it allows the pizza to cool.

Drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Pour yourself an ice cold beverage, turn on the Cardinals game, and ENJOY!!

I know this sounds labor intensive but it really isn't.  Even if you feel like it's a bit of a pain once you put that first bite in your mouth you will realize that it was so worth it!



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