PEAR-FECT PESTO PIZZA WITH MASCARPONE AND PROSCIUTTO
2 tablespoons olive oil (plus 2 teaspoons to oil the bowl)
1 tablespoon honey
1 ½ cups warm water (115-120 degrees)
1 packet yeast
2 teaspoons salt
3 ½ – 4 cups flour
½ cup pesto
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 pears (I like 1 red and one green d’anjou), cored and sliced into ¾” wedges
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
3 ounces prosciutto, very thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
To make the dough, place olive oil, honey, and water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir to dissolve honey into the water (so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the bowl). Sprinkle the yeast on top of the liquid mixture, stir, and let sit for 5-10 minutes until yeast becomes foamy. Add salt and 2 ½ cups of the flour. Mix using the dough hook attachment. Gradually add as much of the remaining flour as needed until a ball forms. Empty dough onto a floured countertop and knead for 8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic adding flour as needed if sticky.
Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour until doubled in bulk. Knead dough briefly and divide into 2 equal parts and form balls. Let rest for 30 minutes under a clean kitchen towel. If you are not using both balls, refrigerate each ball in a plastic bag sprayed with cooking spray for up to 5 days.
Preheat pizza stone in a 425-degree oven for 30 minutes will you prepare the pizza.
To make the pizza, take one ball of the dough and form into a 14” round. Spread cornmeal on a pizza peel and arrange the dough on top. Note – you can also make this pizza on a baking sheet if you do not have a stone or a peel.
Spread the pesto evenly over the dough, leaving ½” exposed around the edges.
Dot the pesto all over with heaping teaspoon size dollops of the mascarpone. Then arrange the pears in concentric circles starting in the center of the pizza. I like to alternate the red and green pear slices for visual effect! Sprinkle half of the parmesan over the pears.
Nestle the prosciutto slices in a radiating pattern between the pears, pushing lightly to adhere. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the top.
Slide the pizza onto the preheated stone and bake for 13-15 minutes until browned and bubbly.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 7-10 minutes. Then, sprinkle the fresh basil leaves evenly over the top of the pizza (if the pizza is too hot they will turn black).
Cut into slices and DEVOUR this pear-fectly delicious pizza!