Monday, June 23, 2008

The Last Pizza Post

I never would have thought that in the first six months of Trout Caviar I'd do three pizza posts, but there you go. In the previous post I mentioned an idea for a grilled dessert pizza topped with rhubarb compote, and that idea came to fruition so successfully, I have to share the results.

So: You make the
pizza dough from this entry (you need to scroll down a bit). Three-quarters of it you use for the main-course pizza, the rest becomes dessert. (You can make the dough, any of the three options, the morning or even the night before you plan to use it; refrigerate, punch down a couple times till it stops overflowing the bowl, take it out a couple hours before dinner to let it warm up.)

As topping I made this simple, delicious rhubarb compote:

Rhubarb-Honey-Thyme Compote

1/2 pound rhubarb (about six stalks)--cut into 1/2" pieces
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup water

Combine in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add:

A few sprigs fresh thyme
Pinch salt
A couple grinds black pepper (this was a nice touch of spice)
A few drops lemon juice, if you like

Cover and let the thyme steep for at least an hour.

This can then be used on the pizza, on a buttermilk shortcake, over ice cream.

Continuing with the pizza: Shape the remaining dough into a 10-inch round. Brush the top with a neutral oil like canola or grapeseed.
Prepare a glaze: Mix two teaspoons honey with one teaspoon of rum (or brandy, or water in a pinch).

Have your coals ready, as in the previous post. You can, and should, grill the dessert crust right after you're done the main-course pizza, while your coals are still good. Then it can just sit until you're ready to top it.

Brush the grill grate with oil, and slide the dough on. Grill for three minutes, watching to be sure it doesn't burn. Flip the dough over, and bake for two minutes. Then flip again, brush the top (you once again have the original top facing up) with the honey-rum glaze, flip it once more, and cook for another minute-and-a-half or so--BE VERY CAREFUL not to let it burn. With the honey it will burn very quickly.

But a little focused attention will produce something like what you see above, which would be good enough to eat as is, or with a dusting of powdered sugar, like a county fair funnel cake. Topped with the rhubarb compote and some whipped cream, it becomes an elegantly rustic dessert.

You could also top it with strawberries--a strawberry shortcake-type variation--fresh peaches in season, grilled apples tossed with a little more of the honey-rum glaze and a few leaves of fresh thyme or mint. Knock yourselves out.

This really is worth doing. The glaze baked to a lacquered, glossy finish, keeping the dough nice and crisp and light. The compote had the right tart-sweet balance, the thyme and pepper adding complexity, and the Cedar Summit whipped cream--I could eat a bowl of that straight up.

And thus concludes the pizza posts.

Text & photos copyright 2008 by Brett Laidlaw

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