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I was in New York last weekend. That doesn’t have anything to do with this pizza, though. I just thought you might want to know. While I was there, we (we, meaning me and the gals who blog for the Family Kitchen on Babble) went out to dinner in SoHo, where I was introduced to my new favorite cheese. Apparently I have spent thirty four years in absolute darknss, not knowing the glory that is burrata mozzarella. Everyone, please start asking your stores to carry it. Let’s change the world.

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The next day, Brooke from Cheeky Kitchen, Shaina from Food for My Family, and I kicked it around Manhattan. We saw Central Park and the Upper West Side, got cookies at Levain Bakery, hot dogs from Gray’s Papaya (didn’t go to Zabar’s though), and afterward saw West Side Story on Broadway. We wished we had gone to see the Adam’s Family instead, though.

We had a blast, and I left thinking how at home I had felt there.

Anyway, after all that great food, I came home wanting something really good. Something not boring, something seasonal and fresh. This pizza is what I came up with.

pear pizza with caramelized onion and bleu cheese

pizza dough (use your own recipe, or see below)
2-3 tablespoons barbecue sauce (your favorite kind, or see recipe below)
1 onion, sliced and caramelized
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut in small cubes
2 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
1 ripe pear, thinly sliced
arugula

Place a pizza stone on the center rack of the oven. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on the back of a baking sheet or on a pizza peel. Stretch out dough to desired thickness and place on parchment paper. Cover with barbecue sauce, caramelized onion, cheeses, and pear slices. Use the parchment paper to slide the pizza onto the baking stone. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese are melted and the crust turns golden. When the pizza is ready, take the parchment paper to slide the pizza back out onto the peel or the baking sheet. Top with a handful of arugula and serve.

pizza dough

Use half of this dough recipe to make the pear pizza above.

4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 envelope instant yeast
1 3/4 cup warm (110 degree) water
3 tablespoons oil
pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flour and yeast. Add in water, oil, and sugar until starting to pull together, then add the salt. Knead the dough on low speed until it forms a smooth, elastic firm dough, about 5 to 10 minutes. Pull the dough out, oil the bowl, and place the dough back in. Cover, and let rise for 2 hours, or until doubled in size. Punch down and shape into pizza.

barbecue sauce

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons molasses
pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
salt and pepper to taste

In a small saucepan set over low heat, cook the onion with the oil until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, and cook a minute more. Add in remainder of ingredients and simmer over low for 10 more minutes. Let cool, and then refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze for up to a year.

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