Recipe: Caramel Apple Pizza
My lastest obsession is the food community website Serious Eats. I like Serious Eats because it’s accessible for everyone from beginning cooks to advanced foodies, and it’s not as snobby as some foodie websites. They recognize that things like fast and frozen foods have their places in the lexicon, (sometimes) even if just for the sake of fond memories. You can get great recipes for vegan Vietnamese cuisine right next to reviews for the latest fast food burger. There are restaurant reviews, product reviews, recipes for everything under the sun, great equipment recommendations and cooking techniques.
So far, one of the best recipes I’ve gotten from Serious Eats is Kenji Alt’s Foolproof Pan Pizza. It’s just about the best pan pizza I’ve ever had, although the recipe makes two 10″ pizzas, and my family only needs one for dinner. So I figured out a way to make a dessert pizza with the extra dough.
What you need:
1/2 recipe Foolproof Pan Pizza dough (Either halve the recipe, or make the whole thing and use half. Unused dough can be refrigerated for about 3 days.)
***Note about the dough: I know it says you can let it rise for up to 24 hours, but every time I’ve gone over 8 hours the dough has gone bad and I’ve had to throw it out. So I recommend either using it or chilling it IMMEDIATELY at the 8 hour point.***
unsalted butter (about 6 tablespoons, divided into 3 sets of 2 tablespoons each)
apples, peeled, cored and sliced or chopped (I think I used about 2 or 3 apples; depends on how many you want, really. Bear in mind they’ll shrink when they’re cooked.)
spices (cinnamon, sugar, whatever you like on apples)
1 recipe No-Cream Caramel Sauce (recipe below)
What you do:
1) Prepare the dough up through step 4. For your dessert pizza, use about 2 tablespoons of melted butter in the pan instead of olive oil.
2) While the dough is rising in the pan, sauté the apples in a skillet with a couple tablespoons of butter. Keep the heat fairly low; you want them to cook down slowly until they’re soft. If you prefer them crisper, don’t cook them very long; if you want them practically applesauce, then cook them longer. Bear in mind they’re going to spend a few minutes in the oven on the pizza.
3) Once the dough has risen (allow about 2 hours if it’s fresh, and at least 3 if it was previously refrigerated), follow step 5 and pat it out, releasing any air bubbles.
4) Spread your apples across the dough, then sprinkle with spices and another couple tablespoons of melted butter.
5) Bake for 12-15 minutes.
6) While pizza is baking, make the caramel sauce:
No-Cream Caramel Sauce
What you need:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
What you do:
The recipe I got literally said, ‘Bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes,’ so I’ll just tell you how I did it. I suspect that this is close to candy-making, which I have never done, so there may be a better way to do it than this; feel free to change it if you know what you’re doing.
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-to-medium-low heat.
2. Stir in the sugar and cook until dissolved.
3. Add the milk and stir until thoroughly combined.
4. Sprinkle in the flour, then raise heat to medium or medium-high and stir constantly until mixture reaches a good boil. Keep stirring while it boils for 3 minutes.
5. Reduce heat, add vanilla, and continue stirring until caramel thickens and darkens to your preference.
7) When your pizza is done, use a thin spatula to lift it from the pan and place it on a cutting board or other platter. Pour the caramel sauce over it, using as much or as little as you like. If you want the pizza to float, raft-like, in an ocean of caramel, make more caramel and put it all in a giant bowl. Cutting it might be hard if you do that.
8) Let it cool a little (the apples and caramel are going to stay hot for a while), then slice it up and serve. Ice cream or whipped cream would be great on this, or maybe that white sweet icing, if that’s your thing (it’s not mine).