Pear Dumplings & Raspberries

April 1, 2015

 

 

 

Poached pear dumplings, blue cheese sauce with basil & walnuts, arugula, raspberries

We’ve played around with using dumpling-style toppings on pizzas before (see: Samosa Pizza). It’s a bit decadent to have dough on dough, sure, but it’s also extra tasty! This time we wanted to sweeten the deal with some poached pears that are peeking out of the little dumpling blankets they’re in. It’s cozy and delicious.

Recipe

 

Ingredients:

1 ball of pizza dough

flour for dusting

semolina flour for pizza stone

olive oil

salt & pepper

handful of raspberries

handful of arugula

 

For the blue cheese sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2-3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola (or another blue cheese)

3/4 cup walnuts, toasted & roughly chopped

1 cup basil, chopped

 

For the poached pears:

1.5 cups white wine

juice of 1 lemon

1 navel orange, quartered and squeezed, reserving the juice and one of the squeezed quarters (discarding the rest)

1 1/4 cup sugar

1 cup water

1/2 vanilla bean, split, or 1/4 tespoon vanilla extract

1 cinnamon stick

5 cloves

4 small ripe pears, peeled & cut into wedges

 

For the dumpling dough:

2.5 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 sticks (8 oz) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4-1/2 cup ice water

1 egg

 

Directions:

The dumpling dough for this recipe can be made up to 2 days in advance, but at minimum you’re going to want to give it one hour to chill before you bake with it. To start, pulse the flour and salt in a food processor (if you have a dough blade, go ahead and use it), adding the butter and continuing to pulse until you get a coarse meal (a few larger pieces are okay).

 

With your food processor running, slowly add the ice water until your dough is just starting to hold together. Take it out and knead it once on a lightly floured surface. Shape it into a rectangle, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

 

The next thing you’re going to want to do is poach the pears. This can be done a bit ahead of time too, leaving the pears to soak in the syrup, but it’s not necessary. 

 

To start, combine all of the poaching ingredients except for the pears in a small saucepan, stirring to combine and dissolve the sugar. Add the pears and bring the mixture gently to a boil.

 

Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 20-25 minutes, or until the pears are easily pierced with a knife. You can leave them in the syrup and let them chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.

 

When you’re ready to make your pizza, preheat your oven to 400° F. Take your pastry dough and roll it out on a floured surface to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut it into semi circles that have a radius of about half the length of your pear wedges.

 

To assemble each dumpling, place a pear wedge at the edge of your semi-circle and roll the dough closed, creating a blanket around the bottom half of the pear. Pinch the dough closed and brush your dumplings with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoons of water). Place your dumplings on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until they are just starting to turn golden (remember, they’ll bake a little longer with the pizza). Increase your oven temperature to 550° F.

 

Meanwhile, you can make your blue cheese sauce. Melt the butter with the oil over medium heat, and add the garlic and thyme. Sauté for about a minute, then stir in the cream and cheese until fully combined. Next stir in the walnuts and basil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and remove from the heat.

 

When your oven is hot, prepare your pizza dough using the instructions on the right. Once you’ve baked it for a minute, take it out and brush it lightly with olive oil.

 

Spread an even layer of the cheese sauce over the pizza, followed by as many dumplings as you can comfortably fit. Scatter some fresh raspberries and bake until the crust is a nice golden brown. Take it out, toss on some fresh arugula, and enjoy!

 

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HOW TO PREPARE DOUGH

#1 

Start stretching it from the center, then move it around in a circle so that gravity stretches it and creates a natural crust. It helps to put some olive oil on your hands first.

 

#2

Place the dough on your floured surface & push it out with your fingertips until it's the size of your pizza stone. You can fold over the edges to create an extra fluffy crust.

 

#3

When the oven is hot (preheat it with the stone inside), sprinkle some semolina flour on the pizza stone and place your dough on it.

#4

Bake it for about a minute, or until it starts to bubble, then take it out. This last step isn't 100% necessary, but I feel like it adds a little extra crispiness to the crust.

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