Oftentimes, Liv will ask if we can just order a pizza on Saturday evening. Since a couple of the local (chain) pizza places deliver (and I don't have to cook or clean up), she typically doesn't get an argument from me, after having driven what seems to have been 200 miles back and forth, back and forth. . .
This past Saturday, though, I had a better idea. I was going to try making a "gourmet" pizza at home, just for something different. Earlier in the week, I'd gotten the ingredients for this pizza I'd been wanting to try. I have been meaning to try it for months, now, and last week, I finally found the last remaining ingredient at a new specialty store/food co-op that opened up in December 2014.
Yes, I know. What kind of pizza is it?! Fig (or fig preserve) and prosciutto pizza.
I'd seen a catalog for fancy chef tools, and inside, it had the most scrumptious-looking pizza among all their beautiful chef/cook tools. It was a fig and prosciutto pizza. Andrew and I had tried prosciutto on other pizzas in the past. A few times, we'd had prosciutto added on a pizza we'd ordered at one of our favorite pizza places in the Boston area, as well as adding onto pizzas we made at home, using one of those pre-made pizza crusts, that you get in a package in the "Italian" section of the grocery store.
But this time, I was going to make a completely different kind of pizza - no tomato-based pizza sauce, no shredded mozzarella, no pepperoni, no pre-made pizza crust out of a package. It was going to be this "gourmet" pizza I'd seen in the catalog.
Well, I did kind of get "help" on the crust. Instead of using the pre-made one, I got a "can" of raw pizza dough from the grocery store's refrigerator section.
I was going to see if I could buy a couple balls of raw pizza dough from our favorite local pizza parlor (not one of the chains that you'd find anywhere, from LA to NYC to Miami). This is a local place and they don't even deliver. There are only two of these pizza parlors and one is just about a 5 minute drive from our house (the other is about 15 minutes away from us). But I ended up not getting the chance to do so. So the "can" of dough would have to do, as I have little (no) experience making doughs from scratch.
I ended making my own recipe based on two fig and prosciutto recipes I found online (one being that one I'd originally seen in that catalog).
Here are a couple of the big changes I'd made off the bat: instead of using either a red or yellow onion, I used a couple shallots. And while I could've used fig slices (fresh, not dried), I opted to go with just the fig preserves for now (that last ingredient I'd found last week).
First, I preheated the oven to 500°F. I have a pizza stone, which I put in the oven before preheating.
Ingredients (the ones I used):
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
Pizza dough (you can make your own. I used the stuff in a can, for "thin crust")
Prosciutto (to taste)
Ricotta Salata cheese (crumbly, like feta)
What I did with the ingredients:
I sauteed the shallots in a couple tablespoons' worth of olive oil. Once they became soft, I added a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Then I sauteed that all together until they seemed kind of glazed.
Then I set the shallot mixture aside and let it cool.
In the meantime, I had a baking sheet lined with foil (which was supposed to be parchment, but I realized too late that I was out of parchment). I sprinkled a little flour onto the foil. Then I took the dough out of the can and split it in two. Then, using my hands, I shaped two pizzas out of it (note to self: next time, let it come to room temp, as cold dough is hard to work with).
Then I scooped fig preserves onto each. I hadn't measured, but it was about a few tablespoons on each. It ended up being about the same amount you'd use if you were using pizza sauce instead of fig preserves. (Note to self: This was way too much.)
Then I took the prosciutto and coarsely tore it into smaller pieces before putting it onto the pizzas.
Then I sprinkled on the cheese. I sprinkled on an amount that seemed just right - not too much, not too little.
Here's where I added the shallot mixture, half on one pizza and half on the other.
I baked the pizzas at 500 for about 8-9 minutes.
Liv tried a piece, picked at another, and gave her "Yuck!" face. Needless to say, she was not pleased. She said she never wants it again.
Andrew and I both agreed that I was a little too heavy-handed with the fig preserves. The pizzas were way, too sweet. He said he'd like it again, and I definitely would like it again - so long as I'm sparing with the fig preserves. We realized that the flavors would be very good together - the sweetness of (just a little fig preserves) with the saltiness of the prosciutto, and the tangy/sweet flavor of the shallot and balsamic vinegar mixture.