Grilled pizza. It’s something that I’ve been pondering lately. I recently discovered the wonders of a pizza stone so there’s been a whole lot of homemade pizza-making going on in our house lately. I am loving the crispy crust that the stone yields. It’s like magically transforming my pathetic normal old oven into a brick oven. I had told Mike I wanted to try grilling a pizza. That idea was met with skepticism and I just put it in the back of my mind for future use.
However, the other day while talking to my friend, Mike (not my husband… yes, there are a lot of Mikes in my life) he mentioned he had recently grilled a dessert pizza with grilled peaches. Right then, the idea of tackling the grilled pizza was right back in the front of my mind once more. The wheels started turning and the creation was delicious!
First I, of course, grilled my pizza dough. I thought for sure dough would immediately start seeping through the grates or catch on fire. However, that didn’t happen at all. The dough cooks up quickly and without any major disasters. Lesson #1 learned from this project… You must must must get your pizza dough thin. I would say no thicker than 1/4 of an inch. I wrestled with this dough (as I do each and every single time I make pizza) yet (as usual) despite my best efforts, I didn’t get it thin enough. It also puffs up a little as it bakes on the grill. So thin is the name of the game when it comes to the dough. When eating a dessert pizza you definitely don’t want to have your entire bite be all dough.
Next, I decided to make ricotta cheese. That’s right… I made it from scratch!! (A little pat on the back. Kinda proud of myself.) Of course, if you aren’t that motivated you can always grab a small container of store-bought ricotta. But let me tell you, making ricotta is easy! Really, truly easy and so much better than any ricotta I’ve had in the past. My experience has always been limited to Sargento’s in the dairy section of the grocery store. Nothing against them but fresh ricotta has got them beat.
I am fortunate enough to subscribe to and read In Jennie’s Kitchen. Jennie has a fantastic blog and makes ricotta weekly so I definitely trusted her to lead me in the right direction for this project. I used her recipe and let her guide the way for my first time making ricotta. It was a stupendous success! I then sweetened it just a touch and added a bit of orange zest.
Lesson #2 learned from this project… I should have let my ricotta drain longer. I doubled the draining time however I should have let it go longer because once I topped my pizza, it was a little more moist that I would have liked for this particular delight. But the taste made my taste buds sing so that made everything alright.
Lastly, I let strawberries take a nice long dip in some sugar and a little Grand Marnier. Once they were done resting, I topped the grilled pizza dough with the sweetened ricotta and strawberries. A wonderfully fresh approach to pizza! I confess, I do many of my baking projects early in the day so this ended up being my breakfast that day. Dessert or breakfast… you decide!
Grilled Pizza with Fresh Ricotta & Strawberries
1 lb pizza dough
1 1/2 c. sliced strawberries
2 Tbsp Grand Marnier (or other orange flavored liqueur)
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. ricotta cheese
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
– Preheat grill to medium heat. Ensure grates are clean and well oiled.
– Shape your pizza dough into a 10″ round, no more than a 1/4″ thickness. Place the dough onto the grill grates and cover. Grill 2-3 minutes then turn pizza dough to other side and continue grilling another 2-3 minutes until dough is cooked. Allow to cool completely.
– In a small bowl, mix together the strawberries, Grand Marnier and sugar. Cover and let it sit for 30 minutes.
– In another small bowl, gently combine the ricotta, honey and orange zest.
– Top the cooled pizza with sweetened ricotta and strawberries.