Okay, I can say, without hesitation, that this was the BEST non-traditional pizza I have EVER made. You see this beautiful pizza with the gooey cheese and the sweet soft pears and the smoked ham (which I realize you can’t actually see)?!? I literally ate HALF of it last night in one sitting. And I don’t even regret it because it was phenomenal. It was an experience, man.
I love brie but I usually reserve it for the holiday season because of the price tag. However, I recently discovered you can get a big ol’ wheel of it at Sam’s Club for like, half, what you pay in the grocery store. Win.
Brie en croute is a Thanksgiving/Christmas staple in our house. I make it every year at least once. (For a gluten free puff pastry recipe, check this out. I haven’t tried it yet but I’ve been meaning to.) Now that I know I can get my beloved soft cheese cheaper I’m starting to think of new ways to use it. Like in this awesome pizza.
I’m thinking this will be a new staple appetizer at holiday gatherings 🙂 Not that my husband or children will eat it. Sigh. I live in a household full of people who don’t really enjoy eating. I know. It’s very sad. But that will make it all the more awesome when I serve it at a party.
I should say here that since I knew my husband would not be eating this I made this pizza using a regular (wheat) pizza dough. If you are doing this gluten free, use the GF pizza dough recipe below. I promise, it looks, tastes, and chews similar to a wheat crust. It’s just more expensive than making a glutenous one so if I’m just making something just for me I use wheat.
For all you pizza purists out there this one may be a teeny stretch for you. There’s nothing red in this at all. I say a pizza, at it’s most basic, is crust, sauce, cheese, and toppings (maybe). This fits that super-vague criteria to a T. The sauce, in this case, is a simple mustard vinaigrette. The slight tang of the vinaigrette perfectly complements the creamy cheese, the sweet pears, and the salty, succulent ham.
Make it for dinner with a salad. Make it as mini-pizzas for an appetizer. Make it to eat by yourself in bed watching Grey’s Anatomy. Just make it please?
Brie Smoked Ham Pear Pizza
2 oz Smoked Ham from the deli, torn into bite size pieces
8 oz Brie, sliced (I remove the rind, you don’t have to though)
1 Pear, sliced (I used a crunchy Comice Pear but any one you like will do)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
For the vinaigrette:
1 Tbsp White Vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
Pinch of Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Prepare pizza dough as directed (or use a store bought ball of dough or crust or whatever you like).
Place a pizza stone or an (upside down) non-stick pizza pan in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Pre-heated surface = fully cooked crust + unburnt toppings.
On a sheet of parchment paper, roll dough out to your preferred thickness. Remember, if using wheat dough, it’s going to rise quite a bit in the oven. The gluten free dough will rise a little bit but not nearly as high as you’re used to a glutenous dough rising.
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, oil, salt, and pepper for the vinaigrette. Spread on pizza dough leaving a rim around the edge.
Top with torn pieces of ham, sliced brie, and pears, in that order. This prevents the ham from losing all it’s moisture in the super hot oven. Grind some black pepper all over the top.
Carefully slide onto hot pizza stone, parchment paper and all (or onto your non-stick pan – just make sure you turn it right side up first!).
Bake 12 minutes.
Makes 8 large slices.