Pear blue cheese pizza is such an elegant and well-balanced pizza topping option. Ripe pears lend their sweetness to complement the strong flavour of the blue cheese. We’re also topping this pizza with chopped pecans. Some prefer to end their meal with some gourmet cheese, others with fruits. Why not serve pear and blue cheese pizza as dessert, then?
Gourmet pizza bianca
Pear and blue cheese pizza is quite a delicacy in Italy. Despite that, it doesn’t seem to rank among common pizza options abroad. Most commonly, pear blue cheese pizza is served as pizza bianca, that is to say without a tomato sauce. Tomato is definitely not a match in this ingredient combination. I wonder if that contributes to play a role in its unpopularity. Most people in fact expect their pizzas with tomato sauce.
For some reason, pizza bianca seems to fall into the more “gourmet” side of the pizza spectrum. Like the fact that the absence of one of the key ingredients everybody expects must mean we’re experimenting something fancier. It is not always the case, but white pizzas usually have some fancier or unexpected ingredients, indeed. In this case we have three ingredients that also feature on the dessert menu, and that kind of makes this pizza a bit more special.
How to make pear and blue cheese pizza
To make this pear and blue cheese flatbread you will need the following ingredients:
- Pear – my favourite type is conference pear, which is sweet and juicy without getting too mushy. Choose one that is ripe for maximum sweetness.
- Blue cheese – in Italy I swear by gorgonzola; here I often use Swedish ädelost. Choose a blue cheese that has a sweeter profile, rather than a more aged and sharp one. Texture-wise anything goes. Gorgonzola is creamier, while ädelost is crumblier. It will all melt in the oven anyway.
- Mozzarella – absolutely needed, because this is a pizza, after all. Even if we’re skipping the tomato sauce, we’re not skipping the mozzarella, nossir.
- Olive oil – pizza bianca obviously misses the added moisture that tomato sauce provides, so we need to generously supply it with some quality olive oil.
- Chopped pecans – I really like pecans, I love the way they toast in the oven as the pizza bakes. Walnuts would be a more Italian option, if pecans are not available.
- A pizza base – use your favourite pizza dough or make your own. My favourite way is with the poolish method.
I like to always take care of all the ingredients first, then stretch my dough and top it. I do this as the oven reaches the correct temperature, which is usually the highest my home oven can go. Since I like to bake my pizza on the stone, I always put the stone inside the oven before turning it on, leave it inside while the oven goes up in temperature, then allow the stone to warm up a half hour after the oven has reached the desired teperature. This way, when the pizza goes in, both the stone and the overall oven temperature will be very hot.
Drain and slice the mozzarella. Go for fairly thin slices. Same with the pear: cut it thin, in order to have many thin slices rather than a few thicker ones. We want to taste a little pear at every bite, rather than just having some bites that taste a lot like pear and others where it’s absent. I generally do not prep the cheese in advance. Cutting the gorgonzola early will mean that by the time we’re ready to put it on the pizza, the creamy bits will have fused back together. As for crumbly cheeses, I think it’s just easiest to crumble them directly on the pizza.
Stretch out the dough, aiming for a round shape. If using a pizza peel, spread a little semolina on it, to prevent the pizza base from sticking to it. Place the dough on the peel. Start by spreading out the mozzarella slices all over the pizza base. Then place pear slices all over, trying to cover as much of the pizza as you can. Next, crumble or lay the blue cheese on top of the pear. Roughly chop the pecans with a knife and spread them around on top of the other ingredients. Finish off with a good drizzle of olive oil. Now your pear and blue cheese pizza is ready to go into the oven and it should already look fabulous even unbaked!
Bake the pizza in the preheated oven at 250°C until the cheese has melted and the crust has taken a golden hue. In my fan-forced oven on the hot stone this takes about 10-12 minutes, but times may vary from oven to oven so the best thing it so to keep an eye on it as it bakes. While the first pizza bakes, proceed to top the second dough. If you only want to make one pear and blue cheese pizza, halve the ingredients and enjoy the leftover half pear and half mozzarella in a salad the following day!
A cheese platter with some nice marmalades is, indeed, a dessert option. If you’re not in the mood for cake, a selection of cheese and jams is a very nice way to finish a meal. You can almost guarantee that among the selected cheese there is a blue one. Blue cheese can be very sharp and stinky, or creamy and mild. The creamier versions usually really nail it as dessert cheese.
Combine blue cheese with ripe pear and chopped pecans and there you have it: ingredients worth of a dessert plate. Use them all on pizza and you can almost call it a dessert pizza. But is it such a strange thing? Well, pizzerias in Italy and also abroad have started including sweet pizza on their dessert menu. Have you ever heard of or tried pizza with Nutella? So pizza can as well work really nice as dessert.
Pizza with pear and gorgonzola (Italy’s blue cheese choice) is not a dessert pizza. It features among all the other pizzas and is usually enjoyed as main dish. But in the end, how and when you eat your food is nobody else’s business but yours. I usually have sweets for breakfast and common breakfast food for dinner. Fancy a pear and blue cheese pizza as dessert? Go ahead and surprise your guests with a dessert pizza! They’ll surely love it, what’s not to love here, after all?
Thick or thin pizza?
I come from northern Italy so I belong to the thin crust team. You can obviously suit this pear and blue cheese pizza to your preference and go for a thicker pizza if you wish. Apart from my personal preference, I would advise against a thicker crust for pear and blue cheese pizza. The flavours of the topping are very delicate, and you don’t want to overwhelm them with a lot of bread at every bite. A thinner crust that leaves more room to savour all the flavours is a better choice in this case.
Loving pizza bianca? Me too! One of my favourite pizza bianca toppings is sautéed leeks and mascarpone. You should definitely check that one out! What other toppings do you like on pizza bianca?
Pear blue cheese pizza bianca
- 2 pizza dough portions
- 125 g mozzarella
- 1 pear
- 50 g blue cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped pecans
- extra-virgin olive oil
- Stretch out the pizza dough. Thinly slice the mozzarella and spread all over the pizza base.
- Slice the pear thin and lay pear slices all over, trying to distribute it so that every slice of pizza will have the same amount of pear.
- Crumble or cut the blue cheese, depending on texture of the blue cheese of choice, and spread all over pizza, in between pear slices.
- Chop the pecans with a knife and spread to top other ingredients.
- Pour a drizzle of olive oil as a finishing touch before the pizza goes into the oven.
- Bake at 250°C (480°F) until the cheese has melted and the pizza crust has taken a golden colour. If using a pizza stone, spread some semolina on the pizza peel to prevent the dough from sticking to it. Baking time may vary depending on pizza thickness and oven temperature. An average baking time of a thin pizza is 15 minutes in a home oven.