PSP (Pumpkin Spice Pizza) and YYCPizzaWeek
YYCPizzaWeek was so successful last year that they are back in 2015 and ready for a ten day feast fuelled by crust and cheese! This year promises to be the biggest ever and with over 40 restaurants taking part they are hoping to top last year’s grand total of just over $9000 in donations to Calgary Meals on Wheels. I was just perusing the various pizzas on the website and I just can’t decide which pizzas to try first…should I go for the Banh Mi pie from Beer Revolution or the mouth watering Braised Bison Lengua Pizza from Cilantro. How about the ‘Tragically Hipster’ pizza featuring kale, sweet potato, and goat cheese from Spot On Kitchen and Bar? I think I’m going to be eating a lot of pizza beginning on Friday, September 25th.
I’m also pleased to announce that the pizza week crew has decided to hold another Food Blogger’s Pizza Competition featuring ingredients provided by the Scarpone’s, the Italian Store. Last year we chose one of three ingredients (anchovies, fire roasted tomatoes, or chestnut purée) and I won using the chestnut purée in my Sweet 16 pizza. This year they are making things a little more interesting because we have to use two of the four ingredients (ricotta fresca, house made pesto, fig preserve, sliced mixed olives) in our pizza creation. It was so much fun to think of all the creative possibilities for pizzas using those ingredients but in the end I settled on using the ricotta and fig preserve combination.
My pizza is again inspired by my daughter. It’s been a bit of a year dealing with her eating disorder and on top of that trying to feed both her and my family meals that satisfy all of us. One dish that I found that was nutritious and delicous AND could be easily converted to her vegan requirements was the Chickpeas in Star Anise and Date Masala dish that I made a couple of months back. Recently I’ve been wanting to make it again and when I heard about the pizza challenge I thought I could easily convert the flavours in to a pizza form.
So, I give to you…the PSP or Pumpkin Spice Pizza. It has a buckwheat base slathered with sugar pumpkin masala purée. There are tangy rounds of red onion, crunchy roasted masala chickpeas, and for the meat lovers in the group…spicy turkey ricotta meatballs. If you think that sounds good…please vote for my pizza! Starting on Friday September 25th every vote counts and I would love to defend my championship title. *****VOTE HERE*****
Pumpkin (Masala) Spice Pizza
For the buckwheat pizza base:
- 1 cup (250 ml) warm water
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- extra flour if the dough is sticky after the rise
- In a bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Let stand until the mixture foams on top, about 5 minutes.
- In a food processor, it is important to work with the plastic blade or the dough hook. Combine the flour and salt. Increase the speed to medium and add the yeast mixture until a soft ball forms.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for a few minutes on a floured surface to prevent sticking.
- Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean cloth. Let the dough rise for about 30 minutes in warm and draft-free area. Cut the dough in half.
- Use the pizza dough immediately or refrigerate it (less than 48 hours), otherwise place it in an airtight bag and freeze.
- This recipe will make two 23-cm (9-inch) thin-crust pizzas or two 20-cm (8-inch) thicker crust pizzas.
Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes.
For the roasted chickpeas:
- 19 oz can chickpeas; drained, skinned (optional), and dried off
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
For the pumpkin sauce:
- 1/3 sugar pumpkin
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- olive oil
Cut pumpkin in large chunks and steam until soft. Purée with a bit of olive oil until smooth. Add seasonings.
For the onions:
Carefully slice a red onion into rounds and fry gently in an oiled pan until soft. Carefully remove and set aside.
For the sauce:
- One jar of fig spread
- 1/3 cup tamarind chutney
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 star anise
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a slight boil, taking care not to scorch the bottom. Set aside some of the sauce if you are making the vegan version of this pizza.
For the meatballs:
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro stems
- 180 grams ricotta fresca
- 1/2 cup panko crumbs
Mix all ingredients together and form into tiny meatballs. Place on a wire rack over a cookie sheet and bake at 350 F until done. Mine were about 15 minutes but it depends on how large you make the meatballs. when they are cooked, add the meatballs to the saucepan with the fig sauce and simmer gently for about 8 minutes so that the meatballs become coated with the sauce.
Assemble the pizza, scatter some cilantro leaves over the top and you have a delicious autumn themed pizza to sink your teeth into for both meat eaters and vegans!