Brad’s Red Hawk Triple Cream Pie
I think I stumbled onto something here. I was out market foraging one day recently and a little round of cheese caught my eye. It was a Cowgirl Creamery Triple Cream called Red Hawk. I was looking to make some pizza and I thought maybe I could play around with this, or worst case play around with it over some crackers!
When I got home I tasted it. Yeah, it was amazing — rich and earthy yet creamy and buttery. I knew right away this cheese would add a unique flavor to any pizza I could dream up.
I picked up some beautiful speck I saw, thinking this would pair well with the cheese on the pizza (or, at least, on my crackers!). I sampled both together and it was great, but it needed something. I realized the Red Hawk would be best blended with some fresh mozzarella to help balance it and not let it be too overpowering. I wanted the triple cream cheese to be an ingredient, rather than the main event.
What this needed was something tart to cut the creamy/buttery/salty sumptuousness of these flavors.
Lemon and vinegar came to mind! Could this work with thin slices of lemons? Definitely. But I had one, measly, aging lemon on the shelf, and my tree didn’t have anything ripe at the moment, so it would have to be vinegar. I also had a couple of nice red bell peppers and decided to “flash” pickle them. Yum! This would bring a nice bright flavor, but also a visually beautiful ingredient to literally brighten up the look of the pizza. We do eat our food with our eyes first, right?!!
Pizza Dough *Peter’s Neapolitan Dough – Link
Cowgirl Creamery – Red Hawk Triple Cream (or your favorite triple cream aged cheese)
Speck *A beautiful deep red cured pork similar to prosciutto. Any salted pork you like or have could work.
Fire Roasted and pickled Red Peppers
Dried oregano, basil, salt, pepper and a little garlic powder, to taste
*Roasted Red Peppers:
– Roast 2 Red Peppers on the grill, in the wood-fired oven, or under the broiler till charred.
– Place them in a paper bag, or cover in a bowl with plastic wrap until they steam and then cool down, and the skin separates from the flesh.
– Peel off the charred skin and discard.
– Slice lengthwise into strips.
NOTE: You could also use canned or jarred fire roasted peppers or any variety of pickled peppers, like Italian Cherry Peppers that come sliced or whole.
*Pickling the Peppers:
There are a ton of pickling recipes you can find online. Here’s what I did:
–In a saucepan add ½ cup of water and ½ cup of apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of sugar, and a good pinch of salt. Heat it up and stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour over the roasted pepper strips. Let them sit for a while (at least 30 minutes) and use what you need for the pizza. Save the rest for later in the fridge.
*See photo. Such a beautiful ingredient!
Spread the dough.
Drizzle some olive oil on the dough and use a pastry brush to spread it over the surface. Sprinkle on the herbs and spices and hit it with a little black pepper, salt and garlic powder.
Pinch off pieces of the triple cream cheese including the rind and spread them around the pizza. Do the same with the fresh mozzarella. I would say you want about two thirds of the cheese on the pizza to be mozzarella with one third being the triple cream cheese. The creamy, milky mozzarella will surround the triple cream and blend together with it when it bakes, creating little pools of “triple cream cheese.”
Add on the beautiful pickled roasted red pepper strips.
Add torn pieces of the speck, or other cured pork.
Take it to the oven! (In a home oven crank it all the way up use use a stone or baking steel); in a wood-fire, fire it up as you would for a Neapolitan, 700-900 degrees, depending on your oven.
Add some fresh basil when it comes out and cut and share!
This was a beautifully balanced pizza where each ingredient stood on it’s own, but also worked together.
For the record, I rarely make the same pizza twice. I don’t test my recipes before making them for Pizza Quest, or for guests. I make ’em and eat ’em! I made this one twice because I knew the family would tear the first one up and I wanted to have more.
Pizza Quest Info
Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.
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