poached pear, arugula, fig, and prosciutto pizza

Posted on June 7, 2012


I decided that I wanted to make burgers tonight for dinner – then there were hours of rain, including but not limited to torrential downpours. I decided that I wouldn’t make myself, or anybody else stand out in the rain while they cooked, and I figured it would be too hot to grill indoors.

I could probably figure something else out that would not involve rain or a stuffy kitchen. Or, in our case, a not so stuffy kitchen. Baking pizzas at 425 degrees fahrenheit has a tendancy to make things a bit warm. But worth it to try what I wanted to make. I decided on my way home that I would FINALLY go food shopping. It has been since Saturday. We’ve eaten out quite a bit in the last few days. The Celtics have been in the NBA Finals, and most importantly our friend left this morning for Stuttgart, Germany for the next 3 years. We had to get dinner with him, had to. I even (unintentionally) crashed a “boys night” at a local bar, cause I figured we could say goodbye to him. We did say goodbyes, but… man. I definitely was the ONLY girl there. Oy. Way to step in it, Jules!

On my way home from work, I tried to talk to my phone to see what type of pear could be poached easily, or which ones you were supposed to use. Turns out I either am totally unintelligable after 4pm, which I don’t really believe to be true… Or, I have a phone that is incompatible with my meek little, only-slightly-afftected-Boston-accent. This damn thing was looking up “pickup care” “couch care” “personal care” but NOTHING close to “poached pear” – more trouble than it’s worth.

i also made pepperoni pizza, cause the face I got when I listed the toppings on the other pizza… was special…

I found a website to instruct me to poach my first pear, or as I found out: batch of pears. Tis’ the season to poach things! I’ve now successfully poached my second thing. First came the egg, then the pear.  For those keeping count.

David Lebovitz has a way of explaining how you do things that makes it seem very simple. Even after a day where I felt like I was running more stairs than wires, and being asked a MILLION questions. I needed simple. S-P-E-L-L-E-D-O-U-T.  You can easily make these with whatever you have in your pantry/cabinets.

Poached Pears
adapted from David Lebovitz 

4 bosc pears, peeled, quartered and cored
4 cups of water (pssst, that’s a quart, by-the-by…)
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
fresh ginger (about size of quarter) peeled and sliced thin
half a lemon – quartered
a few cloves
whole peppercorns
aaaannnnd, I think that’s it.

Once the sugar has disolved in the water, add the other spices you are using (see the link above for more options) and then add the pears in. I used the parchment paper with a hole cut in the middle to help them not get all funky while cooking.

I decided I had a little more time and I made a fig jam that I found on this website that has another recipe for the style of pizza that I was trying to make. I made this pizza dough that I’ve made before that makes a really good thin crust pizza.

Fig Jam
adapted from Bon Appetit

In a small saucepan
1 1/2 tablespoons sweet onion chopped up small – one might even say, minced…?
2 1/2 tablespoons  olive oil

on medium flame, heat until soft

add 1 cup of figs (dry ones, quartered, make sure there are no stems)
1 cup marsala  whateverkindofredwineyouhaveathome  shiraz
1 pinch of dried rosemary
salt & pepper

bring to boil, then lower to simmer – if it gets dry, add water a tablespoon at a time until you have 1 1/4 cups of jam, I lost concentration and didn’t manage to read the rest of the recipe, part of me thinks that I should have discarded the skins, or … who knows.

I layered pizza dough like so:
olive oil (just to brush as a base)
fresh grated mozzarella cheese (thin layer)
pears – sliced into thin slices
prosciutto (6 slices, torn into smaller pieces)
fig jam
gorgonzola cheese (crumbled)

cook until dough is cooked through (seemed like FOREVER, it was probably 12 minutes?)

wait a few minutes, then toss arugula on top. eat up. and if you are like me, be super critical, but mostly confused about the concept and production of fig jam. also, display your disappointment in using a stingy amount of gorgonzola cheese.