Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.– Jim Jarmusch
We wanted to try a premade, store-bought pizza dough one week to see if it’s superior to the dough we’ve been making at home. Our local grocery stores and online retailers are all out of flour right now, so making lemonade out of lemons, we decided this would be the week to try out someone else’s dough.
Our Whole Foods had this NY style pizza dough. It has brown sugar in it so we decided to complement the carmely flavor by adding some caramelized onions. I had never tried caramelizing onions before and I was excited to try it.
I found two recipes in Chloe Coscarelli’s Vegan Italian Kitchen that both sounded good. One for White Pizza with Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onions, the other for Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, and Apple Pizza. The ingredient these recipes both have in common is the caramelized onion and after trying it, I agree, it’s an excellent pizza topping.
If you’ve been following our blog, you know that I’ve tried every cooking method to get frozen butternut squash to taste good, but it always tastes like mush. Since fresh butternut squash is out of season, we decided to use red new potatoes for our
Creamy Potato, Caramelized Onion, and Apple Pizza.
- 1 medium sweet or red onion, sliced
- 1 apple, peeled and sliced
- 2 medium red new potatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Base sauce- we used Kite Hill Chive cream cheese thinned with a few tablespoons of vegetable broth. You could also make this a “white pizza” and slather it with olive oil, and salt and pepper. A base layer of vegan mozzarella would also taste yummy with the potatoes layered on top.
Heat your oven to 425° while you prepare the toppings. Ovens need about 30 minutes to get this hot, so turn it on when you start cooking.
- Bring approximately 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot. Scrub your potatoes and place them in boiling water for approximately 15 minutes, or until a fork easily slides into the center without resistance. When your potatoes are done, place them in a colander or strainer or on a plate to cool.
- Put your frying pan on the stove on medium high heat for a five minutes to let it thoroughly warm up. Add the olive oil and wait a minute for it to warm up. Add the garlic and stir. Add the sliced onions, stirring to coat them with the oil. Stir every two to three minutes until they are done. You’ll know when they are done when they achieve a uniform golden color. This can take anywhere from 25-45 minutes. Be patient. Onions are naturally sweet and the longer they brown the more flavor will be released.
If you are new to caramelizing onions, as I was, here’s a step-by-step tutorial with a video. One quick tip- wait until the onions have sautéed for about 10 minutes before adding salt and pepper or any other spices.
3. After about 15-20 minutes, when the onions look like they are about 5-10 minutes from achieving golden perfection, add the apple slices. If you have not done so already, season with salt and pepper.
Roll out your dough or if you are feeling brave, hand toss it like the pizzaiolo in this video.
Full confession, we really struggled with our dough. It was our first time buying premade dough. My theory is that I didn’t take it out of the fridge early enough. It was at room temp for about 45 minutes before we tried to make a pizza out of it. I think dough needs about 2 hours at room temp before handling it.
Our fancy, new sustainable wood rolling pin from Vermont was no match for this dough! I’d roll it out and it would contract into a ball again. My partner, who incidentally is a Master Tae Kwon Do, tired to roll it out with his mighty arms, and no luck! It just kept springing back into a thick lump.
Keeping with our “making lemonade out of lemons” theme for the week, I remembered a YouTube video about frying pizza dough on the stove. We decided to split the dough in half, stretching one half out as much as we could (which wasn’t very much) and making a traditional baked pizza.
We flattened the other dough ball as much as we could and we fried it. It came out like a pizza pancake!
My partner ate the pizza pancake version and said it was very good. For the pizza pancake, we topped it with Kite Hill Chive flavor vegan cream cheese thinned with a few tablespoons of vegetable broth. We layered slices of new potatoes over the cream cheese, then topped it with a generous amount of warm onion, garlic, and apple mix.
For the traditional baked version, we slathered it with the cream cheese, thinned with a few tablespoons of vegetable broth. We skinned some of the potatoes, left the skin on others, roughly sliced them, and layered them on top of the cream cheese.
We used a generous heap of caramelized onions and apples and baked at 425° for 15 minutes, per the instructions on the dough bag.
I’m not gonna lie, I was doubtful this pizza was going to work out. It was edging past my body’s normal lunchtime and I was getting hangry. We had a large scoop of onions and apples still left in the pan and quesadillas in the fridge, so I whipped up this yummy tostada with vegan mozzarella and the apple, onion mix.
When the pizza cooled enough to take a bite, I was sorry that I had been doubtful! It was delicious. The dough is sweet and perfectly complemented the caramelized onions.
The dough was really thick, since we could not get it to properly roll out. The quesadilla had a lot less calories, and was a yummy meal, but nothing compares to warm, homemade pizza.
We’d definitely try this recipe again. Caramelized onions and apples are a great flavor combo and easy, though a bit time consuming, to make. I’d like to try this with sweet potatoes on a spelt dough crust or use this same topping mix on a sweet potato pizza crust.
If you make this pizza or any variation, we’d love to know. Mangia bene.