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Pear, spinach and blue cheese pizza
Pear, spinach and blue cheese pizza
added by River Cottage Fruit Every Day!

I’m hoping to persuade you to explore a whole new world of pizzas, using fruit to bring colour, texture and a spectrum of sweet and tart flavours to this familiar favourite. Taken from the Channel 4 series, River Cottage to the Core. Photo: Simon Wheeler.

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Prep time
  • 15 minutes
Cook Time
  • 15 minutes
Servings
  • 3 - 4 pizzas
Ingredients
  • For the pizza dough:
  • 250g plain white flour, plus extra to dust
  • 250g strong white flour
  • 11⁄2 level teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon easy-blend (instant) yeast
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil, plus a little extra for oiling
  • Polenta to dust (optional)
  •  
  • For the topping:
  • About 500g spinach, any tough stalks removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to trickle
  • 2 onions, quartered and finely sliced
  • 2 slightly under-ripe pears
  • A grating of fresh nutmeg
  • A pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 250g blue cheese
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
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Directions

To make the pizza dough, put the two flours in a large bowl with the salt and yeast and mix well.

Add the oil and 325ml warm water and mix to a rough dough.

Flour your hands a little. Tip out the dough on to a work surface and knead for 5–10 minutes until smooth.

This is quite a loose and sticky dough – as it should be – so try not to add too much flour if you can help it.

It will become less sticky as you knead.

Trickle a little oil into a clean bowl, add the dough and turn to coat in a light film of oil.

Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size – at least an hour, probably closer to two.

Preheat the oven to 250oC/Gas 9 if it goes that high, or at least 220oC/ Gas 7 and put a baking sheet in to heat up.

For the topping, cook the spinach in a pan with just the water clinging after washing for a minute or two until wilted.

Drain in a colander and leave to cool a little. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan, add the onions and cook gently for 10 minutes or until soft.

Squeeze the spinach to remove any water, chop it roughly and mix with the warm onions. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Peel, quarter and core the pears, then cut each quarter across into two pieces.

Cut the lower, larger pieces into four and the smaller pieces in two.

Put them all in a bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, the nutmeg, chilli flakes, if using, and some salt and pepper. Toss well to coat.

Tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface, deflate with your fingers and leave to rest for a few minutes.

Cut into 3 or 4 equal portions. Roll out one piece as thinly as you can.

Take the hot baking sheet from the oven, scatter over a little flour or polenta if using, and place the dough base on it.

Spread one-third (or one-quarter) of the spinach and onion mixture over the pizza base, top with the same proportion of the pear pieces and crumble over the blue cheese.

Trickle with a little more oil and add a grinding of pepper.

Bake for 10–12 minutes until blistered, bubbling and browned at the edges.

Repeat to make the rest of the pizzas with the remaining dough and topping.

Serve at once.

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