Reason number 1099 why I love living in Southern California: fig season! We don’t have our own fig tree – a gardening oversight that we plan on remedying soon. We have the perfect spot picked out and Wendie has done her research to determine which variety to grow. More on that later. Between the local farmers markets and generous friends we’ve eaten more figs this season than in our entire lives. We love eating them fresh from the tree and have also experimented with making preserves, jams, sandwiches and this latest use – on pizzas. This little configuration was served as dessert in a recent pizza party: fig and goat cheese pizza with caramelized figs and onions.
- 1 16 oz pizza dough (enough for a 12-inch pizza)
- 8 oz goat cheese
- 1 tbs honey
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 10 medium sized figs
- 1 large onion
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs chopped thyme
- About 30 minutes before you are ready to bake, place a pizza stone into the oven and heat oven at 500F (450F if you are doing convection bake). As a warning, you should never put a cold pizza stone into a hot oven. Let’s just say that if you do, it’s the last time you’ll use that pizza stone. Think along the lines of, “Pop goes the weasel”. I had my own mistake in this department sometime ago when I was a pizza making newbie. Fun times!
- Put the olive oil in a medium sauce pan and place on medium high heat on the stove. Slice the onions in thin slices and add to the pan. Roughly chop 5 of the figs and add to the pan along with the chopped thyme leaves. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring continuously and adding salt and pepper to taste about half way through. When finished, remove from heat and put aside to cool.
- Slice the remaining 5 figs in quarters.
Assemble the Pizza
- Roll the dough to roughly 12-14 inch diameter. You don’t have to try and achieve a perfectly circular shape. Remember this is your own homemade creation and it tastes no worst for not having perfection in shape. Personally, I like the rustic look of a misshapen pizza. It’s a pizza with personality.
- Place the dough on a similarly sized piece of parchment paper or a pizza reel sprinkled liberally with cornmeal. This is critical. You need to have the dough on the surface that will be used to transfer it to the oven before you start adding toppings. If you haven’t prepared it for its oven relocation IN ADVANCE of topping it, that pizza is just not going anywhere…at least not as a pizza.
- Spread the caramelized figs on the dough. Crumble the goat cheese and add on top of the figs. Add the sliced figs and chopped walnuts and transfer the pizza to the hot stone in the oven. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the goat cheese has softened.
- When finished, remove and drizzle with honey. Cool and dig in.