When eating in Portland at Wildwood(I already recreated the soup I had) I ate a fantastically yummy pizza. Though it was far from traditional. Instead of sauce there was caramelized onions. The cheese was Gruyere and there was smoked diced ham on top.
I so knew that was something I needed to make at home. I have a Onion Pear Jam that I make for a savory cheesecake for the holidays and I thought that I could modify that into a sauce. For as much as I liked the caramelized onions on top of the pizza I would have liked a little more sweet element. Hence the use of the pears. The sauce is really nice with this and I must say I am surprised to admit that I liked my version more than the restaurants.
You can use whatever cheese you want but I liked both the smoked Gouda and Gruyere with it. If you can’t get Walla Walla onions in your neck of the woods any sweet onion will do. The pizza dough I used is not my all time favorite, that is here, but it will do in a pinch.
I made mini ones as to serve for appetizers. I would so use these for a party.
Smoked Gouda, Gruyere and Ham Pizza with Walla Walla Onion Pear Sauce
Pizza Dough(recipe follows)
Onion Pear “Pizza” Sauce(recipe follows)
2 cups Smoked Gouda Cheese, shredded
¾ cup Gruyere Cheese, shredded
1 ½ cups Cured Ham Steak, diced
3/4 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 cups (or more) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pour 3/4 cup warm water into small bowl; stir in yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes.
Brush large bowl lightly with olive oil. Mix 2 cups flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons oil; process until dough forms a sticky ball. Transfer to lightly floured surface. KNEAD dough until smooth, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is very sticky, about 1 minute. Transfer to prepared bowl; turn dough in bowl to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. PUNCH down dough. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. ROLL out dough according to recipe instructions. (Start in center of dough, working outward toward edges but not rolling over them.)
Dough recipe adapted from Bon Appetit March 2007
Onion Pear “Pizza” Sauce
2 cups Walla Walla Onions, diced
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 ½ cups Pears, peeled, chopped
2 TBSP Fruit Vinegar
¾ cup Brown Sugar
¼ tsp Salt
Saute onions in oil until brown. Reduce heat and cook until glazed.
Add pears, vinegar, sugar, cayenne and salt. Cook till pears are tender.
Remove mixture and simmer juice until a thick glaze.
Put both the onion peas mixture and juice(now a glaze) into blender. Pulse until if forms sauce consistency.
To make the pizza:
On a lightly floured surface pat out dough evenly with your fingers, keeping hands flat and lifting and turning dough over several times, into a 9-inch round. (Do not handle dough more than necessary. If dough is sticky, dust it lightly with flour.) You can also do mini pizzas, which is what I did.
Dust a baker’s peel or rimless baking sheet with flour and carefully transfer dough to it. Jerk peel or baking sheet once or twice and, if dough is sticking, lift dough and sprinkle flour underneath it, reshaping dough if necessary.
Bake without topping for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and spread on sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and ham and place back into oven for another 3-5 minutes until things get bubbly.