Dessert Pizza On The Grill
Inspired by the book PIZZA ON THE GRILL by Elizabeth Karmel and Bob Blumer, I decided to go outside the box and try some Dessert Pizzas this time. I made a Very Berry & Pineapple Dessert Pizza and a Funky Chunky Caramely Monkey Pizza! Don't those sound cool? Are they making you drool? That's what I'm attempting to do here! Make you hungry till you can't stand it anymore and you HAVE to buy the book PIZZA ON THE GRILL! You could always try winning the book too. Just click here for the official post and details on how to enter.
Did Someone Say Pizza Party?
Of course if I'm gonna crank up the grill and trudge up to the top of the dock with all my stuff, I may as well make a few dinner pizzas as well. That meant 4 pizzas and it's just the two of us! No problem! Just invite a few extra boaters from our little marine community and have an impromptu party. A few more people were coming home from a long weekend of sun-and-fun boating and because we're always a spectacle, they can't get up the dock without noticing and smelling us...I mean the pizza! We always have extra wine, glasses, plates, etc for the tired and hungry and too lazy to cook people! And that's how these pizza parties begin! If there's any left overs, John will take it to work the next day for lunch. Nothing goes to waste here!
2001 Vina Pomal Rioja from Spain
Our wine of choice for the night was a 2001 Vina Pomal Spanish Rioja. This was a steal at 2/$14.00, I couldn't believe what I was hearing! We promptly bought up 6 bottles of the liquid gold and ran! It was exceptional and I can't describe it any better than the winemaker can. From the back of the bottle, "Made exclusively from Tempranillo grapes from the Vina Pomal Estate, this is a wine with an intense colour, strong structure and modern style, which combines the aromas from aging in wood with the fruit in a balanced way, a typical characteristic of 'Nueva Expresion' Riojas."
Very Berry & Pineapple Pizza
This started out to be a Red, White & Blue Pizza, but I go a little carried away when I saw the ultra sweet pineapple in the market. It was impulsive, it wasn't on my list, but I thought, what the heck, that should be an awesome combination. And indeed it was! Not only was it delicious, it was also refreshing and very pretty to look at! You should have seen the boaters eyes pop out when they walked by that pizza! It was saying "Come eat me, Come eat me!"
This is what I did:
Without messing with Elizabeth and Bob's copyright, I'll just tell you what I did. I used their recipes as a guide, changing things as I went, used ingredients that inspired me in the market and what I had on hand. This generally works for me, although I've had more than one disaster in my life when not following instructions! I used a really good store bought whole wheat pizza dough from our fantastic Dave's Marketplace down the road. They sell Federal Hill Pizza Company dough, and it's the best we've tried so far. You can make your own too. The book Pizza On The Grill has some easy dough recipes that you could use as a base. I haven't yet, because, well, we live on a boat and that would be one more thing to think about and quite honestly...I'm a lazy griller!
One pound of dough is the standard size ball that is sold in stores. It will usually serve 2-4 people depending on your appetite. If you're anything like John, it will serve him and maybe you can steal a piece when he's not looking! Mix a few Tablespoons of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon in a cup and knead it into the dough, then let the dough sit while you're preparing the rest of the ingredients.
I used blueberries, raspberries and pineapple on my pizza. Again, this is where you improvise and use the fruit that's in season, what catches your eye and makes your mouth water. I cut the pineapple in smallish chunks - about 1 cup - and let them drain on paper towels until the pizza was ready. I think this was a good idea as I couldn't imagine how soggy the pizza would have been if I hadn't done this little step. The blueberries and raspberries made about 1 1/2 cups total. No need to do anything but pick them over first and make sure there's no stems, leaves or bugs...YUCK!
Mix together 1 1/4 cups of ricotta cheese, a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg and a few Tablespoons of sugar and refrigerate.
Sprinkle a work surface (I always use a big piece of heavy duty aluminum foil) with cornmeal. Throw the dough down like you're mad, flatten it and rub about a Tablespoon of either vegetable or olive oil on top of the dough flattening or rolling it as you go. Sprinkle some more cornmeal over the top, flip it over and do the other side with oil. Flatten the dough out as much as you want. I try to make it fit a rectangular baking sheet. You can make it any shape you wish, but certainly never bigger than your grill area! Now let it rest while you gather up all your utensils and stuff.
Assuming you're using a gas grill, light it and preheat on high for about 10 minutes. You want the grill to be searing hot when you slap that dough on the grates. Don't be scared! It needs to be HOT! Bring all your things to the grill, including long handled tongs and a cutting board. Seconds before grilling, turn the heat down to medium. Leaving the pizza on the foil, open the grill and in one swift motion, flip the whole thing onto the grates, foil and all, trying to keep it all in one piece. Then quickly peel off the foil, adjust the dough if you have to and close the top. Leave it in there for about 3 minutes. The experts say not to peek, but every grill is different and we peek each time just in case one edge is browning faster than the other. Use the tongs to move the dough around. Just be sure to leave it on the grill for at least 2 minutes before moving otherwise it will tear.
When you're happy with the way it looks, flip the pizza over and do the other side. NOTE! THIS IS AN IMPORTANT POINT! This is one of the few pizzas that are grilled this way. Because it's getting ricotta cheese and berries on the top, it won't be going back on the grill. It needs to be finished on both sides before decorating.
OK, now you're ready to finish and EAT the pizza! Spread the ricotta over the dough, arrange the fruit whichever way you wish. Make it patriotic, a smiley face, whatever your creative muse tells you to do. Sprinkle the top with a little cinnamon sugar and you're done!
Funky Chunky, Caramely Monkey Dessert Pizza
This dessert pizza is over-the-top totally sinful indulgence! It will have you and your guests gasping with pleasure. OK, this is a family site, so I'll tone down the oohs and aahs for now! Remember, your pizza is only as good as your ingredients and your imagination, so let it ooze out of you!
Chocolate ganache is the star attraction here! I've been making chocolate ganache for over 25 years and I always use the same recipe. Bring 1 cup heavy whipping cream to a scald - that's just below a boil - and turn off the heat. Throw in 2 cups of mini chocolate chips and whisk to melt. Let cool at room temperature or until firm enough to spread. You can do this ahead of time and leave it out until you're ready to use it. You won't be using all of this, so you'll have to refrigerate any leftovers. Or make half the batch if you need to, but I'm telling you, you're gonna love the rest on ice cream!
Prepare 1 pound of dough in the same way, omitting the cinnamon sugar. Or better yet, add it if you'd like. It couldn't hurt! Use the cornmeal and the oil, laying it on a sheet of foil just like I explained above, and let it rest while you get everything else ready.
I used one sliced banana, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup white or semi sweet chocolate chips, 1/4 cup caramel topping, a handful of flaked coconut and another handful of chopped cashews. You can use peanuts if you'd like.
Finishing this pizza is different from the one above. With this one, you're going to grill the first size just like my instructions above say. When that side is done, you're going to flip it over onto the cutting board and close the grill. Smear the peanut butter over the top stopping just before the edges. Spread enough chocolate ganache over the peanut butter and to the sides until you like how it looks, using more or less ganache. Sprinkle the cashews, chocolate chips and coconut evenly over the pizza. Drizzle caramel over that and then arrange the bananas on top.
Slide the pizza back on the grill, close the cover and grill for another 3 minutes or so until the bottom is nicely browned and cooked through. DO NOT BURN this one! You can get away with burned or charred pepperoni pizza but not a chocolate pizza!
I know it's gonna be real hard and you might not even be able to contain yourself, but please let this rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it. The chocolate and peanut butter are ooey and gooey and it won't be a pretty sight, not to mention a wicked mouth burn!
Sooooo, I know this looks LONG & HARD, but it's really not. Once you get into it and do it a few times, you'll be dreaming up your own pizzas! And don't forget to enter the drawing for the amazing cookbook PIZZA ON THE GRILL!
Here's some pictures of the Marinated Flank Steak with Maple Chipotle Sauce and Grilled Veggies! This is just to tempt you!
I used Stonewall Kitchen Maple Chipotle Grille Sauce on the whole wheat pizza dough. It's awesome stuff! Just spread it around right out of the bottle. Pour it on nice and thick!
I topped the Maple Chipotle Grille Sauce with marinated flank steak. Cut it across the grain in strips and lay it on top of the Stonewall Kitchen sauce. Then top with roasted veggies. Use anything that makes you happy. I used red & orange peppers, onions, zucchini, mushrooms and eggplant.
The last step is to top it with a blend of cheeses and fresh mozzarella cheese. I sprinkled it with some Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning and then it went right back on the grill! Awesome I tell you, awesome! Try it sometime, you'll love the Stonewall Kitchen Maple Chipotle Sauce. Tell them Donna sent you, maybe I'll get a few free bottles out of the deal!
See you at the top of Dock 5. Bring some wine, we love Shiraz and Riojas!