I’ve been waiting for months to make this pizza.
There’s a restaurant around the corner from our house that serves a pizza topped with brussels sprouts, pancetta, and brie. I excitedly gave it a try over the summer but was pretty disappointed. It just wasn’t right – the flavors were too flowery, the crust was too delicate, and the brussels sprouts were too small. Plus, who eats brussels sprouts in August anyway?
I promised myself that as soon as the weather was a little more appropriate, I’d make my own version of the pizza at home. It was hard to wait, but I didn’t want to start eating all of my favorite all foods too early because I was afraid that I’d get burned out on them before the cool weather even started to set in. Finally, I decided that it was sufficiently Fall enough. This version is everything that I had hoped the restaurant’s would be: the dough is thick, chewy and charred; the meat is smokey; and the brussels sprouts are slightly caramelized and abundant.
I had originally planned to leave the pizza sauceless, but at the last second I grabbed a jar of apple butter. It was the right move. The subtle sweetness and warm spices of the apple butter were the perfect compliment to the more bitter sprouts. A pinch of crushed red pepper tied it all together.
I also tried a new technique that I had read about where the pizza starts to cook on the stovetop. It cuts down on the cooking time of a deep dish pizza, but also results in a super crispy bottom crust that I loved. A cast iron pan will give you the best char, but any oven safe pan will do. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to a standard pizza stone or baking sheet again.
Enjoy with your favorite pumpkin or Octoberfest beer. Welcome, fall!