Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Pizza!

October is my favorite month of the year; cool weather, falling leaves, and of course pumpkins! I generally try to put pumpkin into anything I can whether it be cookies, scones, soup or ravioli, this year I tried out pumpkin pizza, and it was amazing. Now, it was a lot of work. It wasn't difficult, but it just took long time to prepare all of the individual elements, but I assure you, it will one of the most delicious things you have ever eaten.. I'm serious!

Pumpkin Pizza

Spread a layer of pumpkin puree on your pizza crust. Top with caramelized onions, shredded pork, and a bit of mild Cheese ( like Lappi) Bake in 425 degree oven until crust is browned and cheese is melted.

Sounds easy enough right? Here is how to prepare the individual ingredients.


The first thing that you need to prepare is the pork. I went to Maltese and got a shoulder roast. I threw that beast into the slow cooker with some with a mortar and pestle ground olive oil and garlic, and let it cook.

I always am impatient when it comes to using the slow cooker, because I want it done now dammit! I tried to shred the meat after a few hours and it was still tough..I actually got a blister on my hand from pulling pork... haahaa
I let it cook a total of about 7 hours. If you could do this overnight that would be ideal as well.

Pumpkin puree

Cut a pumpkin in half
scoop out the seeds
bake for about 45 min in a 400 degree oven
scoop out flesh and puree

Pizza dough

Of course you can but a pre-made or refrigerated shell at the grocery store, but making your own is really really easy and it tastes better. And if you are going through all the trouble for the rest of this recipe, then not making your own pizza crust is just downright lazy- you're going to ruin everything!

Mix 1 packet of yeast with 1 cup of warm water and 1T of honey. mix and let sit for about 5 minutes.
Throw on a pinch of salt and gradually add flour until you have added about 3 cups- dump the whole mess on the counter and knead it. At this point you can add some herbs to the dough- it adds flavor and is pretty.

I use this bunch of dried herbs I have hanging in my kitchen. It kinds gets in the way, and it drops herbs all over the countertops, so if you are a neat freak storing herbs this way is not for you. And yes that is a sock on the countertop.

After you knead the dough for 5 minutes, put it in a bowl, coat with some olive oil, and cover the bowl with a clean towel.. let sit in a warm place.

Once it has risen punch it down and let it rise again... wow- this is starting to sound like a bad punk rock song.
Find the biggest pizza pan, jelly roll pan, or cookie sheet you own and spread the dough, building it up about 1 inch at the edges. poke holes in it with a fork.

The crust needs longer to cook than the toppings, so bake the empty crust at 425 for about 10 minutes
take it out of the oven and assemble.

As you an see I sectioned off my crust. I figured I would be realistic, and realize that my 4 year old was not going to want to eat this. He got plain cheese with traditional marinara sauce- right from the jar...a very fancy imported brand called Ragu.

Caramelized onions.

thinly slice 3 onions.
melt a knob of butter in a pot on LOW heat- When melted add the onions. Cook very slowly until golden..this should take about 1.2 hour to 45 minutes. Do not try to cook them faster, you will just screw everything up!

In the end this pizza was delicious! I will omit the roasted red peppers when I do this again. It might be nice with some dried fruit like apricots or cranberries