I love pizza. Like I really, really LOVE pizza and could very easily eat it multiple times a week! Although I do enjoy a slice of ‘pie’ from a pizza restaurant or fast-food joint, I really enjoy making my own pizzas at home. However, I found myself making a similar type of pizza every time and I was getting bored, I needed inspiration. And, not a moment too soon Pete Evans (chef, author and tv star) released his new cookbook, Pizza.
In his much-anticipated sixth cookbook, Pizza, Pete Evans shares his mouth-watering recipes, covering classic pizzas and more modern versions including breakfast pizzas, seafood pizzas, vegetarian pizzas and pizza desserts.
Pete Evans has had a life long love affair with pizza. His mother would make them from scratch for him and his friends, he later trained with an Italian pizzaiolo so he could learn all the tricks of the pizza-maker’s trade and as an executive chef at Hugo’s restaurants for many years, Pete created pizzas that customers couldn’t get enough of. In the hopes of one day writing a book about pizza, he continued to develop and collect his best recipes. Now in Pizza, Pete shares his recipes with beautiful photography and easy, accessible instructions for cooking delicious and exciting pizza at home.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been making my way through the book and have loved every single pizza I’ve made so far. The pizza bases are beautiful, (in fact I don’t think I’ll ever buy a pre-made base ever again), the recipes are fairly straight forward and the end result is a pizza packed with flavour!
You know that I certainly have a sweet tooth, so it was only a matter of time before I attempted to make one of Pete’s dessert pizza’s. Even the name of the dessert pizza’s had me salivating, so by the time my eye’s reached the photo I was on the verge of a conniption.
First up was Pete’s Pecan Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce and I had to pace myself at dinner to ensure I had plenty of room for this treat. Whilst there are a few steps to follow, this recipe is definitely worth making.
Below is a photo of the finished dish, but I really don’t think my photo does it any justice (sorry Pete). Take my word on this, Pete Evan’s Pizza book is fantastic and this dessert is a MUST TRY!
Pizza base (make your own or grab Pete’s cookbook and use his great pizza base recipe)
Salted Carmel Sauce
150g caster sugar
2 tablespoons water
170ml whipping cream
pinch of sea salt flakes
60g unsalted butter, softened
60g caster sugar
1 free-range egg
2 tablespoons plain flour, sifted
To make the salted caramel sauce, place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
Brush the side of the saucepan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Increase the heat to medium and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the sugar starts to turn caramel. Carefully add the cream (it will bubble and splatter violently), stirring constantly until smooth. Stir in the salt. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and allow to cool.
To make the pecan base, grind the pecans using a mortar and pestle until finely ground. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until incorporated in the mixture. Fold in the ground pecans and flour until incorporated. Set aside.
If you have pizza stones… Place two pizza stones in the oven and preheat the oven to 250 degrees or to its highest temperature. Once it has reached the temperature, it will take about 15 minutes for the pizza stones to heat up.
Lightly dust a clean work surface with semolina or flour, then roll out each dough into a 15cm round that is about 3mm thick. Transfer the pizza bases onto pieces of baking paper; this is necessary for transferring the assembled pizzas to the pizza stone. Prick the pizza bases all over with a fork. Spread 3 tablespoons of the pecan base evenly over each pizza base, and then lay the whole pecans around the pizzas.
Transfer the pizzas onto the pizza stones (or regular trays) and cook the pizzas in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until golden and crisp.
Using a pizza paddle or wide spatula, carefully transfer the pizzas to a plate. Drizzle each pizza with the maple syrup, dollop a scoop of ice cream in the centre, drizzle with the salted caramel sauce, dust with icing sugar, if using, and sprinkle a little salt over the caramel sauce. Serve.
For more mouth-watering pizza recipes I really recommend you go out and buy Pete Evans’ Pizza book. Check out Pete’s website here to buy his book and check out his pizza-ware range.
What’s your favourite pizza topping?