Pizza comes in all sizes, shapes and thicknesses; in all flavors from sweet to savory (or somewhere in between); sauced and unsauced; cheesy and cheese-less. And, they get pulled from hot ovens, outdoor barbecues… and even stovetop skillets… crisp, golden and delicious… for snacking or for dining. They are a versatile fixing, to say the least.
One of my all-time favorite ways to deliver a pie is to mix both sweet and savory components. There’s something magically delicious and intriguing when these two ends of the flavor spectrum come together in a pizza. Then pop it with a little salty tang… by way of crisp prosciutto (in this case) and a mixture of cheeses (also in this case), and you have a delectable bite that sings all the taste notes beautifully.
While I typically toss pizzas onto an outdoor grill, this one was popped into my kitchen oven. Keeping to their versatility, they aren’t too particular as to where they get cooked… or how, for that matter. Baking sheets, parchment paper, pizza stones… they all work great. While a metal surface might add a few more minutes to your cooking time, the key to successful pizza making (regardless of which method you choose) is high heat (450- to 500-degree F oven).
Here, I’ve used thin slices of Stemilt’s Fuji apple and Tosca pear varieties as the lead flavor points. Both are excellent choices… deliciously sweet, firm, and juicy. The Fuji apple is actually one of the sweetest apple varieties available and keeps beautifully, making it a great choice when it comes to shelf life consideration. Tosca pears (only available from Stemilt for a brief time each year) is also a perfect choice. Tosca is the first pear off the tree in Washington State each year and available in limited places through the month of September. If you can’t find Tosca pears near you, then look to Bartlett pears to add a similar flavor to this pizza recipe. The two types of pears are very closely related!
I used a pizza stone and store-bought, fresh pizza dough in this recipe. While some may prefer a rolling pin, I like using my hands, letting the dough pull and shape organically to an approximate one-quarter inch thickness. Once dropped onto your stone, you can adjust the shape a bit more. I lightly brush the top with extra virgin olive oil and pop it into a 450 degree F. oven for about 4 to 5 minutes, rotate it a bit and cook it another 3 to 4 minutes before turning it over, repeating the light olive oil brushing, and returning it to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes before topping it with fixings. Slivers of red onion, and slices of apple and pear are lightly sautéed before being added as toppings. When your crust is ready to get topped, there’s first a light spread of a fig preserve mixture and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese that go down as a base for your delightful slices of lightly sautéed apples, pears, and red onion. After a few minutes, little dollops of Cambozola cheese get added to the party and the pie pops back onto a higher rack in the oven to finish up. A crumble of crisp oven-baked prosciutto and a hearty tangle of fresh arugula bring it all together, serving up one delicious sweet-savory pie as a wonderful lunch or dinner entrée… or great little appetizer when sliced up into smaller portions.