Pear, Stilton & Rocket Pizza Bianca Tray



Pears and Stilton, a winning classic combination. The strong salty blue cheese and the delicate sweet pear flavour complement each other perfectly. This Vegetarian Pizza tray is quick and simple to make; you don’t even have to be able to toss your pizza dough to get the perfect circle if you don’t know how (if you can then go for it). And, everyone loves a Pizza, at pretty much any time. Evening meal, suppertime snack, lunch, buffet slice, or even cold for breakfast (we have all done it, don’t judge us).

Pizza Bianca or “White Pizza” is simply a pizza that uses a simple mild creamy cheese such as ricotta or a bechamel sauce rather than the more usual tomato, so it’s great for vegetarian and fruit dishes. It also allows the cheese to really sing its flavour, and in this recipe the pear can really shine through with the peppery rocket. If you aren’t a rocket fan, or just can’t get hold of any spinach is a great swap. We use cream cheese as our “sauce” as it is simple and readily available. You probably have it to hand already!

There are so many pizza dough recipes around. Like Yorkshire Pudding batter everyone has their own favourite and believes theirs in the best. We think Gino D’Acampo’s is one of the best. Failsafe, simple, and pretty quick, we find this dough recipe yields a great base with a food processor or done the traditional hand-kneaded way, so I have borrowed it from his “Italian Coastal Escape” book.

Like most of our recipes there is a lot of space for customisation here, and lots of swaps to make this quick and easy Pizza Bianca recipe your own.


Ingredients – Serves 4

Pizza Base

200g Strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

7g Fast action dried yeast or 15g fresh yeast

½ tsp Salt

2 tbsp Olive Oil

140ml Water, tepid

Topping

150g Stilton

2 x Pears

150g Cream Cheese with Garlic & Herbs (full or low fat as you prefer)

1 x Ball Mozzarella

Large Handful fresh Rocket or Spinach leaves, washed

Black Pepper

Optional:

Use Micro Salad or Pea Shoots to top your Pizza once cooked for a different twist (we used Micro Radish Shoots for an extra peppery flavour in the photo).



Method

1. First the Pizza Dough. If using fresh yeast, dissolve it in the tepid water and stir, leave for 5 – 10 minutes to get going. If you are using dried, then skip this step.

2. Place the salt in the bowl of your food processer or a large mixing bowl, then the flour over the top, followed by the olive oil and then the yeast & water.

3. Stir with the handle of wooden spoon to lightly mix the ingredients together in the bowl.

4. Using the Dough Hook attachment for your food processor knead on a medium speed for 5 – 7 minutes or with floured hands you can go “old school”. You should end up with a smooth elastic dough. Add small amounts of additional flour or water if you need to.

5. Place the dough in a bowl oiled with olive oil, and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise for approx. 30 mins or until doubled in size.

6. While the dough is rising prepare your topping ingredients. First, drain the mozzarella, giving it a light squeeze in your hand to push out excess water. Rip the ball into shreds by peeling the layers.

7. Reserve about a dozen of the rocket or spinach leaves to sprinkle over the top once cooked and chop the rest in half. Core and slice the pears into 1cm thick slices.

8. Once the dough has risen, knock out the air by giving it 3 or 4 kneads and place on a baking tray lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Then roll the dough out with a rolling pin. You are looking for it to have a slightly raised edge and it doesn’t want to be exactly rectangular, more a nice rustic shape.

9. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees fan, with the shelf at the top.

10. Spread the dough thinly with the cream cheese staying approx. ½ inch minimum from the edge.

11. Then sprinkle with the rocket / spinach, add the pears, then mozzarella. Finally crumble over the stilton and season with the black pepper.

12. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the cheese is caramelising and bubbling on the top. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the remaining leaves and serve.

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