So… I had these plums, you see…That’s how it all began. I bought a ton of local plums early on in the week because I wanted to bake a pie. Or a cobbler. Probably a pie. But then Sunday came and I realized not only had I not made my pie, but also hadn’t planned our dinner for that night. Pizza. Pizza sounded good to the hubs and I. We hadn’t had family pizza night in awhile…. And, per usual, we wanted something different and fun and… then came the plums.There are a lot of flatbreads and pizzas with similar ingredients that I’m using here…. you see them on a lot of menus these days. Prosciutto, some sort of sweet fruit, and arugula. It isn’t very unique anymore. But what I don’t like about most of those pizzas is that they’re all just so sweet. The fruit part of it is generally just a super sweet jam. Nothing interesting, no dimension, just…sweet. And that can be a little much for me. So what I wanted was to take the plums and make a sauce out of them, without adding sugar, but all the while still making sure they tasted like plums.So I made a thick sauce out of sautéed plums and onions flavored with rosemary and balsamic vinegar, spread that over my homemade whole wheat pizza dough, sprinkled it with buttery manchego cheese, baked it, then topped it with crispy prosciutto and arugula leaves.
It was stellar. You tasted the plums- they held onto their integrity for sure, but it was by no means a pizza topped with sweet jam and cheese. It was far more interesting than that.
And the pie?
Ugh. The pie was too good. I’ve made a Plum-Peach Pie before that was amazing… It has dried ginger that really adds a lovely and subtle flavor to the pie, but this time I wanted to play around with an all plum pie adding candied ginger. And I’m so glad I did. Plums and ginger really are a delicious match!
What I love about the summertime is the amount of beautifully fresh and delicious produce we can get- So many fruits and vegetables just waiting to be played with. And each year I try to play around with all of it to come up with fun and unique recipes (like this one!). This meal was so incredible because we got to taste the same exact fruit in two totally different ways.
It’s so important to not look at something and think you know it… Judge it as we see it on the surface, or because of what we’ve seen it do in the past… That’s not fair, now is it? To anything. Or anyone. Everything and everyone deserves the chance to be anything it can and wants to be. That plum? Sure, he’s sweet. Yes, he will be stellar in a pie or a cake or in a salad, but maybe that plum has more potential.
And maybe so do you.
So don’t you ever stop playing.
now onto the yummyness….
SAUTEED PLUM & MANCHEGO PIZZA
W/ ARUGULA & CRISPY PROSCIUTTO
In a saucepan, on medium-high heat with a little light olive or canola oil, add…
1 medium (yellow) onion, thinly sliced
4 plums, sliced (I used dragon plums because I like their tangy sweetness)
1 fresh, whole rosemary sprig
several fat pinches kosher salt
lots of fresh cracked black pepper
The salt will begin to draw out the juice from the fruit fairly quickly, and that’s what you want.
Add in 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and let it all begin to bubble and reduce…
And after about 30 minutes, (stirring occasionally) you will have what you see below..It should be thick and saucy. (Now, listen… Taste it. Always taste your food as you work. If you taste it and think you need some sugar, then season it how you like. I won’t mind! I also won’t know… But it’s important to remember that when you’re cooking, you’re cooking for you. And what you like may be quite different than what I like. I encourage you to try it this way because you never know what you’ll like until you do, but make it however you like it. I just happen to like the natural sweetness and tartness that the reduced plums and balsamic give.)Allow to cool a bit. Remove rosemary sprig. Set aside.
This part can also be done a bit ahead of time…
Take 4 ounces of thinly sliced prosciutto and slice it across into wide strips. Add to a hot pan with a little canola/light olive oil and let it crisp up. It won’t take long. Set aside.
Then alls you gotta do now is assemble your pizza… spread out your dough onto a well greased baking sheet, spread evenly with your cooled plum/onion ‘sauce’, top with 2 1/2 cups shredded machego cheese (this is a 1/2 lb. wedge before trimming the wax), and bake at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, or until desired doneness.
Top with your crispy prosciutto and raw arugula leaves.
AND NOW… PIE
Brush with a little cream (I always have half&half for my coffee so I use that) and sprinkle liberally with sugar (I prefer raw sugar because of the larger crystals).Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for 30 more (do not open the oven when you reduce the heat). Trust me on the foil lined part…
Then allow to cool until ready to serve. Serve warm or room temperature.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Pie is a beautiful thing.
It’s one of my all-time favorite things to eat and to make.
After we finished our pizza, we had our pie with ice cream (vanilla. duh.) and champagne.
Cause we fancy on Sundays.