This past weekend was all about parties. I was to bring an “app” to a Friday night wine party, and another to a girls night on Saturday. I typically have zero patience for putting together bite-size, individual hors d’oeuvres and all week I was experiencing a cook’s version of “writer’s block” and wasn’t feeling any inspiration.
But figs are suddenly in season, showing up in gorgeous piles at the market, and I had just had a conversation with a friend about figs. She mentioned having recently made pizza with fig preserves and then the light bulb FINALLY went on. And I knew — there would be fresh fig pizza with two of my favorite cheeses, a crust scented with fresh thyme which is just growing wild in my herb garden, and some toasted pine nuts to top it all off. Besides being tasty and an homage to the beginning of harvest season, fresh fig pizza is just a beautiful thing to eat.
Thyme Scented Fig Pizza
by Stephanie Kunstle
Note: Some freshly cracked black pepper would be good on this, but I wasn’t sure of the culinary “limits” of my fellow partiers, so I left it off. Something to try if you like a real savory vs. sweet contrast. For another delicious and quick fig recipe, click here.
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. dry active yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 truly heaping Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 2 cups (approx.) unbleached flour
- 8 oz. fresh goat cheese
- 6 oz. mild blue cheese (I use my favorite: Point Reyes Farmstead Blue)
- 6-8 fresh figs, each sliced into 6-8 slices
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
- extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- polenta or corn meal, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 425 ° F. In a Kitchen Aid Mixer fitted with a dough hook, pour in warm water, and add yeast. Whisk to combine. Add olive oil, sugar, salt, and fresh thyme leaves. Whisk again to combine well. Add flour and begin to combine using the dough hook. For a nice elastic dough, let the mixer go for several minutes while you prep the pizza toppings. Depending on your flour, the humidity, and human error, you may need to add a tablespoon or two more of flour (or so). Your dough should be silky smooth, not sticky, but not at all dry. When it’s finished being kneaded, swirl the ball of dough in some olive oil, and set aside for a few minutes. I like to keep the rising time down to almost nothing because I like a thin crust pizza, so if you let it sit there for another half hour, expect a very fluffy crust.
- While the dough is being kneaded, add your pine nuts to a dry pan over medium heat. Stir almost constantly until you begin to smell a sweet pine nut aroma. At this point, the nuts should start to turn golden. Adjust your heat a bit lower, and continue to stir until it appears the nuts are evenly toasted (another minute or two), and then immediately remove the nuts from the pan and place in a bowl to cool.
- Rub a pizza pan or jelly roll pan with olive oil and an even sprinkling of polenta or corn meal. On a clean counter top, press out the pizza dough (gently press and flip until the dough has reached the desired size and shape). Carefully transfer the dough to your pan and press out an even crust along the edges.
- Drizzle the pizza dough with olive oil, and gently rub it over the surface of the dough. Add goat cheese crumbled, blue cheese, and then arrange the fig slices on top. Finish with the toasted pine nuts. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top, making sure to hit each fig slice with a touch of oil to keep them moist during the baking process.
- Bake at 425° F for 12-14 minutes until crust is golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.