Pear & Fig Pizza

Pear & Fig Pizza
Forget plain ol’ pepperoni. As summer sidles into fall, straddle the seasons with fruit and cheese instead. Lafayette Square eatery Eleven Eleven Mississippi’s poached pear and fig pizza cuts the fruits’ mellow sweetness with tart, creamy Gorgonzola and layers on flavor with caramelized onions and crème fraîche. At once light and rich, it’s the perfect thing for September’s warm days and cool nights.


3½ cups flour
1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp. yeast
2 Tbsp. honey
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. butter
1 large sweet onion, sliced very thin
½ cup plus 1 tsp. sugar, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pear, peeled, halved and cored
1½ cups red wine
1 vanilla bean
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. crème fraîche
½ cup dried black mission figs, sliced thin
½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 Tbsp. shredded fresh basil


• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

• Make the pizza dough: In a large mixing bowl or in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, water, yeast, honey, olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Mix until a smooth dough ball is formed, about 5 to 8 minutes.

• Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes, then form it into a very thin pizza shell.

• Meanwhile, in a medium sauté pan, melt the butter. Add the onion and 1teaspoon of sugar and sauté over medium-low heat about 20 to 30 minutes or until the onion is soft and brown, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and cool to room temperature. (This may be done a day or two in advance.)

• In a medium saucepan, combine the pear, red wine, vanilla bean, ½ cup of sugar and the cinnamon. Simmer until just tender, approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in the poaching liquid, then thinly slice the pear. (This may be done in advance.)

• Assemble the pizza: Spread the crème fraîche over the entire pizza crust. Arrange the caramelized onions, pears and figs evenly on the crust. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola cheese.

• Place the pizza on a cookie sheet or baking stone (a baking stone is recommended for a crispy crust). Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the bottom of the pizza crust is golden brown and crispy.

• Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve immediately.