Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thinking Outside the Pizza Box

Tonight we we went outside the proverbial pizza box to create a one-of-a-kind pie.

Apple + Blue Cheese + Caramelized Onions + Apple Cider Vinaigrette + Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

I'd been craving a pizza of this sort for about a month. I loved Ina's Roasted Pears so much, and I'm a huge fan of Apple Quesadillas, so a pizza variation on these meals seemed like the next logical step.

This pizza exceeded my expectations, friends. Blue cheese and apples were clearly cousins in another life, and caramelized onions make everything better, right? Not only did this dinner wake up my taste buds and put a smile on my face, but it definitely has a "sophisticated" feel to it. I'm already dreaming up ways it could be converted into a smaller, bite-sized appetizer or finger food at a party.

We served our pizza with spinach salad on the side. And possibly a chocolate muffin for dessert (Just because I don't eat them for breakfast doesn't mean I won't indulge later in the day. Nothing is off-limits after 5pm, friends. And yes, I know that defies everything Dr. Oz ever taught us.).

What's your most creative pizza creation?

Whole Wheat Pizza with Apples, Blue Cheese, and Caramelized Onions

Pizza Dough Ingredients:
(dough recipe from my trusty ol' Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook)
  • 1 - 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 - 1/4 to 1 - 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 - 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
Pizza Topping Ingredients:
Directions to Prepare the Pizza Dough:
1) In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, yeast, and salt. Add warm water and oil and beat with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the whole wheat flour as you can.

2) Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead in as much of remaining flour as is needed to make a moderately stiff dough that's smooth and elastic (knead for about 6 - 8 minutes). Divide dough in half and place one half in the freezer for later. Place the other half in a bowl, cover, and allow it to rise in a warm place for about an hour.

3) Preheat oven to 425 degrees and coat a pizza pan with cooking spray. Roll out pizza dough onto a floured surface. Place on pizza pan and prick with a fork several times. Bake for 8 minutes.

4) Meanwhile, heat a dash of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until nicely browned (about 8 - 10 minutes). Also, prepare the cider vinaigrette.

5) After the crust has baked, remove from the oven and top with onion, sliced apples, and blue cheese. Drizzle vinaigrette over the top. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 8 - 10 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned.


  1. Way to mix up the sweet and savory! I'm trying to imagine how this would taste, and like what I'm thinking. :) Blue cheese used to be on my yucky list, but I recently embraced it a couple years ago. And carmelized onions: yum!! Maybe you could shred the apples for the appetizer-sized pizzas. :)

  2. This would make a fantabulous bite sized appetizer! Dream it up - make it - and send me the recipe! omg! <3

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  3. looks super fabulous! I love the combination of apples and blue cheese -- and on a pizza -- delicious !

  4. This does sound sophisticated and delicious! My husband introduced me to a recipe with cheddar cheese sauce, soft pretzels and honey. I was such a skeptic at first but it is so, so good!

  5. Lady, you make my innovation look shameful. My wildest adventure involved artichoke hearts. I would love to bring your apple-pizza arrangement to a wine and cheese with some girlfriends. Thank you SO much for sharing this one :)

  6. Apples and cheese are an awesome combination. The onions are the icing on the cake (or pizza in this case). I love it!

  7. That is A REALLY GOOD IDEA for a pizza!

  8. This is so creative! I have to admit, I'm not a big blue cheese fan, but maybe I could figure out a substitute :)

  9. I think you're my hero. I couldn't have imagined a more perfect pizza!

  10. Wow. I've seen pizzas with sweet ingredients before, but never one with apples.
    Touche, lady.
    I made a pizza tonight that was fantastic:
    pita bread w/ a little bit of olive oil
    top it with artichokes, carmelized onions, roasted red pepper, and shredded asiago.
    You're right though, onions make everything better.

  11. This looks like a pizza fit for a queen! I love the combination of apples and strong cheeses...I want a slice right now! Thanks for always making me smile with your words, photos and recipes. I hope that your Wednesday is full of joy!

  12. Thats a fantastic idea , like a Waldorf salad with pizza,which i think is v good!
    And u u paired the apples with blue cheese , wowowow!
    Thats wonderful , have a fantastic week ahead!

  13. wow that looks so good!!!! I am not very creative with my pizza's-keep it standard, I need to step outside the box!

  14. When I was in 1st grade we went to an apple orchard and then made apple pizza, but yours is definitely fancier than what we came up with! :)

  15. Such a great idea!! See I would never even THINK of trying to put this together!! Ive never done apples the savory way, like with cheese or anything. Im not sure why, especially since I have heard it tastes amazing!

  16. Girl---I want that pizza now! I once had a brie and green apple pizza that friends ordered when we were out (and I didn't want it).....it was awesome!
    I like traditional pizza the most, but I definitely can appreciate the more creative varieties!

  17. Mmmm yum! I am all for going outside of the "traditional" pizza box! It'd be great if you put them in mini filo dough tarts!

  18. It really looks like we have a lot in common I love unique pizzas! I just made one for dinner and am posting the recipe tomorrow!