I believe that a good recipe is a recipe that makes you happy. And this is one of the main reasons I decided to start a food blog dedicated to simple, pleasure-seeking French foods. I truly want people to see that French food is more an epicurean mindset, rather than elaborate recipes or fancy plates. Getting inspired by old recipes, regional heritage, international fusions and whipping up a meal that will make you happy; that’s simply it for me. And today’s recipe perfectly embodies this French cooking mindset to me. It is certainly not a very traditional French one, but just a great example of how to prepare a famous dish, while putting your own signature on it with some of your favorite ingredients.
We all know that pizza is not a native from France, but this savory dish is clearly rooted in the eating habits of the French. Pizza makes the French happy. And each French region likes to add their own twist to it, with their locally sourced ingredients: seafood pizza in Brittany, foie gras pizza in the south, Tartiflette pizza (potato, ham and reblochon cheese) in the Alps. And I myself like to combine sweet and salty ingredients – think a Hawaiian pizza, but the French way, with local fruits and regional cheeses. And this how this Pear, Blue Cheese and Sausage whole wheat Pizza idea naturally came to me on a random weekday dinner night…
I love a thin, crispy crust – which is one of the biggest trademark of a French pizza. The soft and chewy “American-style” crusts are not popular in France. And the past few times I made pizza, I used Cookie+Kate’s “The Easiest Whole Wheat Pizza Dough” recipe, which is indeed super easy and gives you a deliciously thin and crispy crust.
For the toppings, I played with one of my favourite combos – blue cheese and pear – a great sweet and salty French classic (which is just as delicious in a salad, by the way). Bartlett Pears are your best variety choice for a pizza topping. Choose them young, crisp and slightly tart, and they will keep their firmness once cooked. Their light acidity marries perfectly with the sweetness of honey and the rich peppery flavours of the blue cheese (try to get your hands on a glorious Bleu d’Auvergne if you can!).
I also had some leftover pork sausages from my lunch, which I sliced up and scattered on the pizza right before baking it. The pork worked very nicely, it made this pizza richer and more consistent – but you can skip the meat if you are thinking of sharing this pizza as an appetizer for example. (Important: Your sausage needs to be cooked beforehand, as it won’t have sufficient time to cook on top of your pizza.) I hope you enjoy this Pear, Blue Cheese and Sausage Whole Wheat Pizza as much as I do. Bon appétit!
Pear, Blue Cheese and Pork Sausage Whole Wheat Pizza.Print This
For the whole wheat pizza dough (by Cookie+Kate):
1 cup water, heated to 110 degrees (very warm, almost too hot for comfort)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 envelope (2 ¼ teaspoons) rapid-rise or instant yeast
2 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon sea salt
For the toppings:
2 Bartlett Pears (firm), pitted and sliced (skin on)
60 grams of blue cheese (about 4-5 generous slices)
¼ cups chopped walnuts
2 individual pork sausages, sliced
2 tablespoons honey
Freshly cracked pepper
Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the upper third of the oven.
Whisk water, sugar, oil and yeast in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl. Allow yeast to proof for 5 minutes. It should puff up some by then.
Pulse flour, Parmesan, and salt in food processor until combined. While running the food processor, slowly pour in the water mixture and process until a shaggy ball forms, about 1 minute.
Dump the dough onto a floured work surface and quickly knead dough a few times until it comes together. Halve the dough.
On a floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll dough into two rounds about 11 inches in diameter. For best results, roll the dough out about as thin as reasonably possible. Aim for even thickness rather than a perfectly round shape. Transfer dough to a baking pan (my baking pan is non-stick, but if yours isn’t, you might want to lightly grease it with cooking spray). Brush the outer 1-inch of the dough with a light coating of olive oil.
Add the toppings on the pizza dough, in the following order (bottom to top): sliced pears, crumbled blue cheese, chopped walnuts, pork sausage slices and honey drizzle all over. Crack some fresh pepper on all the topping to finish up.
Bake on the top rack for 12 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden, rotating halfway. Adjust seasoning, and serve.