It’s a cold crisp morning today and it definitely feels like autumn has finally arrived. I’m not a big fan of summer, don’t like the heat and it has been very humid lately which for me makes it even worse. I’ve been looking forward to the arrival of cooler weather for a long time, I’ll change my mind in the middle of winter though when I’m freezing my arse off at work wearing 6 layers.
Autumn is a time to celebrate the arrival of new seasonal fruit and figs are one of the best fruits around at the moment. The season is short, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get this recipe posted whilst figs are still available, but now the summer madness is over I’ve had a bit more free time. About 2 weeks ago I bought a whole case of figs when they were at their cheapest (wholesale price is slowly creeping up now) with plans to make 3 different recipes. I only managed to make 2 and this pizza is the one that worked the best. I’m not sure I’ll get chance to tweak the fig and frangipane tart idea, might have to save that one for next year.
My chief taste testers for anything involving cheese, aka mum and dad were very happy to sample this pizza for lunch at work the day after I made it. The only criticism was that there wasn’t enough cheese. I swiftly remedied that yesterday so we can enjoy pizza for lunch again today.
I used Beenleigh blue sheeps cheese to make my pizza. This is quite an expensive cheese but it is definitely worth paying a bit extra to enjoy it’s delicious, sharp tanginess. It was popular at work for a while then all of a sudden the public lost interest and the cheese went out of date so therefore I had to take some home to eat. I know why dates are needed on food like cheese but it does frustrate me when they are applied to blue cheeses that still taste perfectly good, and are already mouldy. At least I know it’s not being wasted if it ends up in my fridge which is something.
To finish the pizza off with a little flourish, I’ve added a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and pomegranate molasses, the latter is one of my new favourite ingredients. It’s sticky, tangy sweetness pairs beautifully with the figs and offsets the saltiness of the cheese.
- 225g strong white bread flour
- 150ml lukewarm water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp dried active yeast (reactivated following packet instructions) or 1 x 7g sachet fast action yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 50g wild rocket
- 50g mixed nut
- 1 large fat garlic clove or 2 small cloves
- 150ml extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
- 100g crumbly blue cheese
- 3 fresh figs, sliced into wedges
- 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Add all the pizza base ingredients to a mixing bowl and work together to form a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. If you're short on time use a hand mixer with dough hooks attached and knead the dough in the bowl for 4-5 minutes. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave the dough to prove for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- For the pesto place all the ingredients in a blender or a food processor and pulse until combined.
- When the dough is ready pre heat the oven to 220°C and dust a baking tray with a mixture of 1tbsp coarse polenta and 1 tbsp flour. Knock back the dough and shape into a circle on the baking tray.
- Spread half of the pesto over the pizza base, store the remaining pesto in a jar in the fridge covered with a layer of oil and eat within a few days or freeze in ice cube trays. Crumble the cheese and scatter liberally over the pesto then arrange the sliced figs on top. Finally mix together the pomegranate molasses and balsamic vinegar and drizzle over the figs.
- Cook for 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbling and the base is crisp. Serve straight away with a green salad. This pizza is also excellent eaten cold the next day for lunch.
For more savoury fig recipes try a fig, watercress and cheese sandwich from The Veg Space, fresh fig salad with cured ham and mozzarella from Supper in the Suburbs, roast duck with fig, port and star anise from Foodie Quine, or honeyed fig and goats cheese tarts with walnuts and chocolate balsamic sauce from Tin & Thyme.