A perfect pear – fruit and pizza | NevadaAppeal.com

A perfect pear – fruit and pizza

Charlie Abowd
For the Nevada Appeal
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Charlie Abowd's summer pizza with Béchamel sauce and D'Anjou pears.
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This beautiful summer pizza is a creation of ours and is very popular at the restaurant. We are honored to have been able to provide this recipe to the Pear Bureau Northwest organization, so we thought it would be a good idea to forward it to our readers in Carson City. This is truly an adult pizza, but I’m sure the kids will enjoy it as well.

Almost all of the ingredients can be bought at the Farmer’s Market here in Carson City and that’s where I suggest you go.

I would recommend a dry Reisling, such as the one from Chateau St. Michelle from Washington, which is stellar. A summer rosé is another excellent choice. We are serving the St. Michelle dry rosé as the recommended wine pairing at the restaurant with this pizza.

As a side note, I am sorry for missing the July recipe. Karen and I, along with my Dad (Stonehouse Cafe in Reno), sisters and cousin Jerry (Crackerbox Restaurant) went to Oregon for a family reunion.

Speaking of family reunions, the July Issue of “Reno Magazine” did a great story on our family’s culinary influence in Northern Nevada. The article gives great insight into our family’s restaurants – Adele’s, Stonehouse Cafe and Griddle of Winnemucca – to name some of the Nevada restaurants our family is involved in, not to mention Arizona, Ohio and California. Don’t miss the article.

As always enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!

Béchamel sauce

• 2 tablespoons butter

• 2 tablespoons flour

• 1 cup milk

• salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy saucepan melt butter over medium heat; do not allow to brown. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper to a smooth and bubbly consistency. Gradually stir in milk, continuing to stir. Cook until sauce thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Makes 1 cup.

Note: This recipe makes more sauce than you need so try to arrange to use the remainder for preparing another dish within three to four days. Do not freeze.

Pizza dough

• 1 package regular yeast (not rapid rise)

• 1Ú4 cup warm water

• 1Ú2 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon sugar

• 3 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 cup cool water

• 31Ú4 cups bread flour

Dissolve: Yeast in quarter cup of warm water for 10 minutes

Mix the following: Salt, sugar, olive oil, cool water and pour into mound of bread flour. Add yeast mixture.

Knead on a flat surface until elastic and smooth, or use a food processor and pulse until dough forms a ball then knead by hand.

Place the dough in an olive oil coated, floured bowl and let rise for 30 minutes.

Roll into one large or two small circles and brush with olive oil. Make sure when rolling out dough you use lots of cornmeal on the rolling surface. You want the dough to be thin, approximately an eighth inch to a quarter inch thick. Form the edges of the dough into a half-inch high rim.

Pizza topping

• 1 sweet yellow onion large enough to make 1 cup, thinly sliced

• 3 tablespoons brown sugar

• 2 tablespoons sweet butter

• 1Ú4 cup pecan halves

• 2 red pears (D’Anjou)

• 1 lime

• 2 tablespoons Béchamel Sauce

• 1Ú4 pound Blue Shropshire English Cheese

Note: If you cannot locate the cheese you can use 2 ounces of a good sharp English-style cheddar mixed with 2 ounces of a good blue cheese.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

In a 6-inch sauté pan melt one tablespoon of butter over medium heat, add onions and slowly cook approximately 10-15 minutes until a light translucent brown, stirring occasionally. Add one and a half tablespoons brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the onions are a dark brown color. Remove from pan and set aside.

Melt the remainder of the butter in the pan, add pecan halves and cook 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the rest of the brown sugar. Stir and cook 3 minutes more or until sugar has dissolved. Place mixture on parchment paper or foil. Make sure they are placed so as not to touch each other and let cool.

Remove the core and thinly slice pears, about an eighth inch to quarter inch thick, end to end. Place in a glass dish and spritze with the juice of the lime.

To make pizza, roll out the dough to eighth-inch thickness. Spread the sauce over the dough (barely covering it; not too much sauce) and top with the caramelized onions (onions only; no sauce). Crumble half of the cheese over the top and arrange the raw, drained pear slices in a circular fashion. Leave about a half-inch gap between each pear slice. Sprinkle the pecan halves all over and then add the rest of the cheese.

Place the pizza on a pizza stone or pan with plenty of cornmeal or dry polenta on the pan. Place in preheated oven and cook approximately 10-12 minutes or until crust is a light golden brown. Each oven cooks differently so baking time may vary.

The key to this dish is that the dough is dark to golden brown and the cheese is thoroughly melted.

• Charlie Abowd is the owner and chef at Adele’s. He and his wife, Karen, have lived in Carson City since 1980. Charlie is a fourth-generation restaurateur.