Monday, June 30, 2014




Grilled Nectarine Pizza with Lemon Scented Mascarpone
When you get a craving for something sweet this summer, perhaps grilling fresh fruit and making a torte or a pizza would satisfy that sweet tooth. I just had a craving for either peaches or nectarines, and while I love peaches, I have not had much culinary experience with nectarines -- okay, none whatsoever -- which is why I decided to work with them.  They were pretty solid, so I felt grilling them would bring out their sugars, caramelize them and bring out their tangy flavors.  Wow, was I right about that!  You will just have to find out for yourself, so, without further ado, let's get to my recipe!

Ingredients: 
2 pounds solid nectarines  (If they are soft, they will not grill well, they will grill into mush).
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon or, the zest of half a lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice, or, juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon honey
2 tabs softened butter (rub onto grill prior to heating the grill)
1 ball of fresh whole wheat pizza dough
non-stick spray
half cup or so of flour (to work the pizza dough)

Wash and cut each nectarine into wedges.  If you have an apple corer, try to use that.  Cannot be sure of its effectiveness, but worth a try, maybe?  Just a thought.  Set aside in a bowl with the lemon juice, and toss the wedges in the juice. This will begin to soften them, slightly, bring out their sugars and keep the wedges fresh until you are ready to use them. 

Roll out the pizza dough on a pastry stone, your stone counter top or a large wooden cutting board.  Dust generously with flour to work and roll out the dough. Try to shape it into a circle.  I enjoy making pizza in my cast iron skillet (my Grandma P used to make tortes and cobblers in her cast iron skillet quite often).  They were so good, how could it be wrong?

Lightly spray the cast iron skillet with non-stick spray and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  

Place the dough into the skillet.  

Heat up your indoor grill plate or outdoor grill. Using a paper towel, rub the butter onto the grill plate.  Butter helps the caramelizing process.  Place the wedges onto the grill and leave for three to five minutes; they will probably be on there for five minutes each side.  Use a pair of tongs or hashi to check the wedges.  You want to turn them over when they have great grill marks.  

While the nectarines are grilling, in a small bowl, add the mascarpone cheese and the lemon juice from the nectarines bowl.  Add the lemon zest, honey and the brown sugar and mix well.  Allow to sit for fifteen minutes and then spread it on the bottom part of the pizza dough in the cast iron skillet. 




Upon finishing up grilling the nectarines (they will smell so good!), place them in a circular pattern on the bottom of the pizza dough.  Sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar and place the skillet into the oven.  Bake for eighteen minutes.  Your nose will tell you when it is done before the timer goes off. The aroma will be heavenly.  



 And when it is done.......


 Because the cast iron skillet retains heat, remove the skillet from all heat sources.  After five minutes (and my mistake was leaving it in the skillet for fifteen minutes, thus causing the crust to continue cooking, so it was a bit stiffer than I'd wanted it to be) remove the pizza from the skillet and allow to cool fifteen minutes. You want the mascarpone to cool and the juices to settle and set before cutting.  

This is your final product!


 And to tease you about a near future post.......



 My Calzone, which I made that same day, is photo-bombing the Nectarine Pizza.  Next post.....Calzone!!!!