Puff Pastry Pizza
The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, September 7th 2014 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
Rustic Italian Pizza – with a Twist
My family and I have always appreciated a good pizza and judging by a recent survey saying that “94% of all Americans eat pizza regularly” – everyone else shares our love. Toppings on a pizza are just as talked about as the places where we buy them. Some prefer hamburger, while others are strictly cheese only, while other people like barbeque sauce instead of tomato. Some people locally prefer ordering their pizza from “Pizza King” while others prefer “Top Hat 2”, while others prefer homemade (like me). But what about trying something new and something different? What about trying a pizza topped simply with mozzarella cheese, fresh sliced tomatoes and what about using puff pastry instead of a traditional pizza crust? Let me explain…
Pizza was traditionally topped with only mozzarella cheese, olive oil, sliced tomatoes and scattered with fresh basil. What we now call “rustic pizza” was traditionally just the “normal” when first invented. Researching the pizza, I just described gave me the idea to change things up a little. I took the traditional rustic pizza toppings, added a little garlic, puff pastry and a little grated parmesan cheese and wow! Talk about delicious! Don’t have the use of puff pastry scare you away from trying this recipe – it’s amazing and couldn’t be easier! Just remember to put the frozen puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight for a slow and gentle defrost.
Puff Pastry Pizza
Puff pastry can be used for sweet or savory recipes and can be found in the frozen section (usually next to the frozen whipped topping) in your local grocery store. Be sure to buy puff pastry and not phyllo dough – that is something completely different. The puff pastry will add a buttery flavor and tons of “crunch” with the layers of dough. Fresh tomatoes give this pizza a delicious fresh flavor – but store bought can be substituted. Basil ties together the flavors but is optional and still good without it.
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 large tomatoes sliced about ¼-inch thick
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (optional)
Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place one sheet of the puff pastry in the center of the baking sheet and brush with the lightly beaten egg.
Next, poke the puff pastry all over with a fork – being sure to go all the way through.
Sprinkle on the grated parmesan cheese and place in preheated oven for 17 minutes.
Place sliced tomatoes on a layer of paper towels and sprinkle with the salt and pepper (this will help remove the moisture) and let set for several minutes.
When the pastry has finished baking, remove and allow to cool slightly before sprinkling on the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Press away any excess moisture from the tomatoes by lightly pressing them with paper towels before placing them on top of the mozzarella cheese.
Whisk together the olive oil and minced garlic and drizzle evenly over the top of the pastry.
Bake again for 13 minutes (still at 425 degrees F).
Remove from oven and sprinkle on chopped basil (if using).
Cut into squares and serve hot.