Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza Pie

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

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NOTE – THERE IS A FOLLOW UP POST TO THIS BLOG PIECE HERE.

 

This effort was not a 100% success.  Right off the top – the suggestions I must make that vary from what I tried are:

Use much more pizza dough & build a pretty decently thick crust.  Thin crust – not good for deep pizza as it cannot support the weight of the contents.  This is less of an issue if you use a deep pie pan & not a springform pan – but still.  This much stuffing needs more bread than a sparingly-topped normal pizza.

Also – maybe don’t make your pizza 2-3 inches deep.  Thatsa lotta stuff to try to hold together through the trauma of slicing.

I was terrified of making a dried out pie & added several ingredients for their moisture factor as much as anything else.  MISTAKE.  My very first deep pizza is kind of a runny mess.  It tastes really yummy but it isn’t the prettiest thing on earth & I don’t think it could take many more slices being cut out before it collapsed entirely.

Maybe consider not removing the springform ring until you cut into your pizza & can assess its free-standing worthiness.

You would think I would have learned from my wet spinach-feta pizza cupcakes that maybe spinach & feta are wetter than they seem during assembly.  Or maybe the mushrooms I used released all their moisture during the baking process – so – I think the next time I attempt a deep pizza – I shall eschew the spinach AND the mushrooms….or save the mushrooms for only the very top where the heat of the oven will evaporate their moisture.

Anyway – I am not going to post a formal recipe here because I don’t think this pie warrants it.  I just threw everything I had (meaning ingredients) into it & hoped for the best.  I will experiment more & when I perfect it – I will post the recipe here.

Yesterday – with no recipe in mind – I roasted some sliced onion in olive oil at 450 for about 30 minutes – stirring them about once or twice in the process.  I also drizzled olive oil on whole garlic cloves & baked them wrapped in foil – along with the onions.

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Once the garlic cools – you can squeeze each clove & the gooey, nutty garlic comes out in a creamy texture – like soft toothpaste.

I then treated some multi-colored peppers & jalapenos to the same olive oil & roasting treatment.

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Once they were good & blackened & while still very hot, I put them in a bowl & topped it with plastic wrap.  Once they were cooled – I peeled the charred skin off under cool running water & got this delicious result:

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I made a spinach pesto using

2 packed cups fresh spinach

40 almonds, crushed & toasted for 5 minutes or so

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 cup olive oil

water for added smoothness – all blended in a food processor.

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Today – I decided I’d experiment with the deep dish pizza thingy.  I already had about 1/3 of my pizza dough recipe leftover, and settled for that.  In the future – I’d use the entire dough recipe & make a MUCH thicker crust.

I also had sauteed mushrooms, black olives, extra peppers, feta cheese, lots of spinach, grated pizza blend cheese, half a tomato and a few slices of mozzarella.

PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 400

I sprayed a springform pan with cooking spray & lined it with my TOO LITTLE pizza dough.  I let the dough come up over the rim to anchor it upright.

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My next step SHOULD have been a layer of grated cheese – but I opted for the spinach pesto.

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I then added half of a two inch cube of feta & the roasted onions.

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I then added grated cheese & mushrooms

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then I added some arrabiata & the roasted peppers

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then some chopped mozzarella & the roasted garlic

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then a layer of spinach & then more feta & mushrooms

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then chopped tomatoes & more arrabiata 

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more cheese

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then I got crazy with raw bell peppers & black olives

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I put chopped peppers inside each ring – using the two colors the ring was not.  For example: red & yellow chopped pepper in the orange rings & so on.

I baked this for about 30 minutes.

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I let it set for ten minutes & removed the springform ring.  I let it sit another 5 minutes but I was anxious to cut into it while it was hot so the melted cheese would still be soft & gooey.  I had to saw very gingerly with a finely serrated knife – as if I was cutting glass – to keep my FAR too fragile thin crust from shattering.  The contents spilled out – FAR wetter than I’d anticipated.  But – even in Chicago – this is a knife & fork dish, not something you eat with your hands.  I put my very sloppy slice on a plate & sampled it.  It really does taste pretty amazing!  Just a tad disappointing on the presentation angle.  Note that the liquid is brown – not red (from the tomato sauce).  This makes me think the roasted peppers & the mushrooms are my main culprits wetting the bed here.  But even so – the most significant failing on this version is the way too thin crust.  Don’t try that at home, kids.

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If you endeavor to make one of these – please go big or go home with the crust & try to limit wet ingredients to a minimum.  With these adjustments – you should do fine.  And you can put any old things in these guys: cooked meats, a second layer of crust in the middle, any of an infinite variety of vegetables & cheeses.  So get creative!!!

 

NOTE – THERE IS A FOLLOW UP POST TO THIS BLOG PIECE HERE.

 

5 thoughts on “Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza Pie

  1. One of the best tips I have for Deep Dish crust anything.. a friend was a chef for a Pizzeria Due in Chicago, (the one about a half block from the original, Uno.) He used to add a quarter inch of dough on the bottom and the sides of the pie pot. (pan, dish, etc), spray butter on it, and then bake it at a low temperature, (250-275 degree’s tops) for about 10 minutes. This makes the outer part of the crust strong enough to withstand the yummies within, and when you add the layer of crust on top of it prior to adding ingredients, (he liked to add a sprinkling of mozzarella between the two, which I love), the nice gooey, wet, lovely insides are able to cook into the warmth and comfort goodness. You end up with a pie that is easier to cut into, and easier to serve. And, of course, so good you want thirds.

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  2. Pingback: FOLLOW-UP to my Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza Pie | Delightful-Delicious-Delovely

  3. Pingback: Vegetable Pot Pie & Cupcakes | Delightful-Delicious-Delovely

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