with provolone, Gorgonzola and pecans
This recipe fast became one of my wife’s favourites. It has evolved a little over time, with her love for pecans replacing an original suggestion of walnuts and sliced provolone over shredded.
The flavour combination between the cheeses and the pears is a complex blend of sharp and sweet, while the pecans and whole wheat dough lend enough of an “earthy” mood to the overall pie.
Bosc pears are ideal for baking. Their firm and dense flesh hold well during the cooking process, leaving just enough of a crispness on the finished pie. When ripe, these pears have a sweet and slightly spicy taste, nicely offsetting the bite of the blue-veined cheese and the mildly tart Provolone.
While this recipe calls for Italian Gorgonzola, suitable substitutes are the English Stilton or Danablu (Danish blue cheese). When selecting a Gorgonzola cheese, look for the aged hard Mountain Gorgonzola as opposed to Gorgonzola Dolce, which is creamier and does not have the same crumbling characteristics.
Both the Stilton and Danablu have slightly milder tastes than the Gorgonzola but still lend themselves nicely. If you’re looking for an even more dramatic blend of flavours, you may consider a sheep’s milk cheese like the famous Roquefort.•
1 portion whole wheat pizza dough (enough for 14-inch finished pie)
4 ounces sliced Provolone cheese
1 Bosc pear, thinly sliced
2 ounces chopped pecans
2 1/2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Place the dough ball onto a lightly floured work surface. Lightly dust the dough ball and using your hands, or a rolling pin, begin to shape the dough into a 10-inch circle. Shake off the excess flour and then slap-out or toss the dough so that it will cover a 14-inch pizza pan.
Place pizza dough on the pan, and layer with Provolone cheese. Top cheese with Bosc pear slices. Sprinkle with pecans and Gorgonzola cheese.
Bake in the oven 8 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned. For a home baking, cooking temperature ranges from 450 to 500 F, depending on oven. Always bake with a pizza stone in a preheated oven.
Remove from heat. Top with chives and slice to serve.
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