Sweet & Smoky Pear & Onion Pizza 1

Disclosure: OXO provided the featured kitchen tools for me to use and review for this post.  I was not compensated in any other way, and all the opinions are my own.

I don’t think I’ve met anyone who doesn’t like pizza.  It’s a staple in busy homes and college residences, and more artisan pizzerias are opening everywhere you look.  I’m not complaining, though – bready crust, gooey melty cheese, a plethora of different topping combinations to suit one’s every mood…what’s not to love?  But as much as I enjoy eating a delicious pizza out or having one delivered to my door, I am much more likely to make my own pizza at home now.  I love making the dough with the added flavors of fresh herbs, and experimenting with different cheeses and toppings.  And now that I have some awesome new pizza tools that make prepping and serving super fun and easy, I’m even more likely to skip the restaurant and create my own “U Make – U Bake” pizzas!

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What are these fabulous pizza-making tools, you ask?  Well, I recently had the chance to be part of OXO’s “Get a Slice of This!” pizza party, and try out their Non-Stick Pro Pizza Pan, Complete Grate & Slice Set, and 4″ Pizza Wheel.  All I had to do was come up with a nifty new pizza recipe to share with y’all, and that’s a pleasure!

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I’ve always enjoyed the caramelized pear pizza at CPK, and so I decided to incorporate those into my pizza.  A layer of caramelized pears and onions on top of grated Fontina and smoked mozzarella cheeses topped with smoky ham slices sounded like a winning combination…and I made a spreadable sauce using dates and Chinese mustard to bring a little sweet heat to the pie.  The sauce whips up in a snap in a blender or food processor.

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My favorite pizza dough is easy to make – it comes together in just a few minutes; you knead it briefly right in the bowl and then set it aside so it can rise while you’re preparing the toppings.  (I prefer thick crusts, and that’s what this pizza needs with all it’s toppings, but you can divide the dough if you want a thin pizza – it can easily be frozen for later use.)

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Speaking of preparing the toppings – may I rave about the Complete Grate & Slice Set?  It comes with both coarse and medium grating plates and straight and julienne slicing plates, with a hand guard to use when you’re slicing.  Everything is housed in a durable storage case, the lid of which acts as a container – each plate fits right onto the top so that you can slice and grate directly into the container, and you can measure the contents too.  (You can also grate or slice directly over a plate or cutting board.)

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The lid has rubber feet so that it stays put on the counter as you’re working, which makes it so easy to grate cheese! I confess that I am still using the same metal box grater my mom gave me when I moved into my first apartment after graduating college.  Let’s just say that was several years ago…luckily my son, who is graduating from college this year, will be receiving the Complete Grate & Slice Set instead!

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Using the hand guard I sliced the pears and the onions – slicing went so quickly that the onions didn’t make me cry – really!

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I got the slices into the saute pan and, while they were cooking, I sliced up the deli ham.  Now obviously, the 4″ Pizza Wheel is for – you guessed it – slicing pizza.

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You see that the wheel is plastic, so it’s safe for non-stick pans; it’s also tapered so it cuts nicely through pizza crusts, and the slick surface prevents cheese from sticking. Just for fun, I decided to try slicing the ham with it and it worked beautifully!

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The cutter’s plastic would be gentler on stoneware too; isn’t it great when a kitchen tool can multi-task!  The trademark OXO “Good Grips” handle provides a secure and comfortable hold, and the thumb guard helps keep fingers away from the blade.

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Now the toppings are ready and so is the dough!  I rolled the crust out right on the Non-Stick Pro Pizza Pan – no cornmeal or other non-stick measures needed (and not having to clean up a flour-covered counter was an added bonus).

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Over the years I’ve made pizzas on thin metal pans, sheet pans,and stoneware – they all have their pros and cons.  I love how this pizza – especially the crust – baked up on OXO’s commercial grade pan, which has a micro-textured pattern to improve airflow for even baking, along with rigidity for strength and durability. I highly recommend it!

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Once the pizza was done – indicated by its golden brown crust and bubbly toppings – I took it out and sprinkled it with fresh snipped chives and glazed walnuts for another level of sweet-savory flavor.

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The pizza cutter worked like a charm, even through this thick crust.  It was delightful, if I do say so myself…and because it’s just me and the hubs at home, I’ve got lots of leftovers to savor.  I really enjoyed cooking with OXO’s awesome pizza-making tools…they definitely made creating a new pizza easy and fun…and I’m already looking forward to our next pizza night.  Hmmm, I think I might just make that a regular on the dinner rotation – as always, enjoy!

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Oh…and did you know? OXO is pronounced “OX-OH”! 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sue's Favorite Pizza Dough
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Homemade pizza dough is so easy to make, and you can add and vary the flavor with the addition of herbs.
Recipe type: bread
Serves: 10-12 servings
  • 1 ½ cups warm (110F) water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 packet (2 ¼ tsp.) instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour (use 1 cup all-purpose flour if you prefer)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • Finely chopped fresh herbs – rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley – optional
  1. Combine the water, oil and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and allow to proof for 5 minutes (mixture should be foamy on the top when it’s ready).
  3. Whisk all the dry ingredients together.
  4. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the liquid.
  5. Stir until just combined; flour your hands and knead the dough right in the bowl until it comes together.
  6. Form the dough into a ball. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise while you prepare the toppings.
  7. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  8. Stretch or roll the dough out on the pizza pan to desired thickness. You can divide the dough in half to make a thinner crust, or into 4-6 pieces for individual pizzas.
  9. Pinch the perimeter of the dough up for thicker edges if desired.
  10. Top with sauce and toppings.
  11. Bake approximately 18 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the toppings are bubbling (baking time will vary depending on the thickness of your crust as well as how "done" you prefer the crust).
  12. Allow the pizza to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.
The Dough can be frozen in an airtight bag for up to three months. Thaw the dough in its bag in the refrigerator overnight. Set out at room temperature half an hour before rolling it out.
To make “Foccacia”, press the dough into a lightly greased 8” x 8” square pan. Make indentations with your fingers. Drizzle with olive oil (or try walnut, pumpkin seed or pistachio oil). Sprinkle with your choice of herbs and cheeses, or top with grapes and fresh rosemary or olives and sliced dried figs. Bake approximately 15 minutes, until golden brown. Cut into squares and serve.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sweet & Smoky Pear & Onion Pizza
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Delicious caramelized pears and onions combine with smoky mozarella and ham, and a sweet-spicy date and mustard sauce for a unique homemade pizza!
Recipe type: Dinner, snack, appetizer
Serves: 10-12 servings
  • Date-Mustard Sauce
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sweet-hot mustard
  • 8 pitted dates
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • Topping
  • 3 large red pears
  • 1 large red onion
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • ½ lb. Fontina cheese, grated
  • ½ lb. smoked mozarrella cheese, grated
  • ½ lb. thinly sliced deli ham, sliced into thin strips
  • rough-chopped candied walnuts, fresh chives and parsley, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. Make the date-mustard sauce: blend all sauce ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth; set aside.
  3. Make the pizza dough and set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan and add the sliced pears and red onion.
  5. Sprinkle with the Kosher salt and pepper.
  6. Saute until the pears and onion start to soften and are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  7. Roll or stretch the pizza dough out on the pizza pan; pinch the edges up for a thicker crust if you’d like.
  8. Using a pastry brush, spread the sauce over the bottom of the crust (you won’t need all of it; set the remaining aside to serve with the pizza (or use for sandwiches).
  9. Sprinkle with ¾ of the cheeses, then layer on the pears and onion mixture and the ham strips.
  10. Top with the remaining cheese.
  11. Bake approximately 18 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the top is bubbling (cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of your crust as well as how "done" you prefer it).
  12. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the walnuts and chives.
  13. Let the pizza set for a few minutes before slicing.

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