Pear and Blue Cheese Pizza

Felicity first introduced me to Dean & Deluca. Notice the italics – this was the TV show about the high school graduate, pre-med student who tosses it all for some guy and an art degree in New York City. I never really saw more than a few snippets after the premier episode, but they were enough to introduce me to this gourmet food/coffee store/restaurant. My family went to NYC my senior of high school and even walked past the Rockefeller Center location (my parents and I still disagree over who is to blame for this), but I didn’t make it inside until a couple years ago in St. Helena, CA. It is amazing and outrageously expensive.

Now, the cookbook I bought several years ago, but I rarely cook from it. I think the expensive extravagance of the stores translates to extravagant use of pots in their wordy recipes. Reading all those paragraphs and thinking of the clean up equals to exhaustive expense in my head. Plus, there’s an inconsistency on whether this is gourmet for the average or not. To sum it up I love looking at the recipe titles, hate reading the instructions, nurture fond memories of the past, but really just can’t afford it all. Plus, The Dean & Deluca Cookbook is not for the common cook. It is all about the proper way to do things.

But, every once in a while I have to try something and get a delightful sense of rebellion when I give the recipes my own spin.

Like pear and blue cheese pizza. The potentially designer toppings are not listed and might be snubbed. However, I decided to try their dough today. Sort of. See it’s kind of snowing outside and I really just did not want to walk to the store for the proper kind of flour. And I figured as long as I’m coloring a little outside the lines might as well just draw a whole new section.  Sure I could have turned to a different recipe, but I had a plan for the day. As always I cut the recipe in half for myself and included those amounts. The instruction is my own abbreviated version and would cause lots of head shaking from the creators.

Pear and Blue Cheese Pizza

Pizza dough based on The Dean & Deluca Cookbook

¼ cup milk, room temp
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoons yeast
1 cup all purpose flour
½ white whole wheat flour
(original recipe calls for 2 ⅔ cup tipo 00 flour or cake flour and ⅓ cup all purpose flour – please note these are the full amounts)
¼ teaspoon salt
drizzle of olive oil

Toppings

1 pear
¼ cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
1 long stem fresh rosemary, chopped

Combine milk and water in measuring cup. Stir in yeast till dissolved. Then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes or so. In large bowl combine flours with salt. Stir in yeast until dough comes together. Knead on floured surface (or for ultimate ease, in bowl) until coherent and springy. Place in oiled bowl, cover loosely with towel and set in warm spot. Bake a batch of cookies while waiting for the dough to rise until more than doubled, around 2 hours.

Preheat oven to around 450° or 500°F.

Roll dough out on floured surface until thin. For thinner crusts prick with fork all over. Transfer to baking device – for me this was parchment paper. Baking sheets also work and some people have pizza stones and neither cause small kitchen fires.

Sprinkle with chopped rosemary. Set aside to rise slightly.

Chop walnuts. Grate parmesan. Thinly slice pear. Crumble up blue cheese.

Top pizza with parmesan, pear slices, walnuts and blue cheese. Bake until crust is brown, around 10 minutes or so.

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