Crab, Brie and Roasted Pear Pizza
Okay, this is how cooking in my kitchen goes on a lot of days: I have stuff to use up, leftovers, etc., and I'm feeling creative. The challenge is, how to use up the leftovers in an interesting way, incorporating any oddball ingredients that might present themselves, while at the same time not making an inedible mess.
Last night it was leftover roasted pears (from the Warm Duck Breast and Roasted Pear Salad) and a container of nice fresh Maine crabmeat that I bought on a whim, a few tablespoons of cranberry sauce and some brie that was knocking around the fridge, begging to be used in something.
Pear and brie works, of course. But cranberry sauce? The last time we were in Ireland we noted a national passion for brie paired with cranberry sauce. We found this everywhere, and of course we tried it. Of course, is what you say when you taste this combination. Of course!
Okay, fine. Pear, brie, cranberry sauce. But as I was putting the pizza together, the crab didn't really seem to belong, or rather, the pear, brie, cranberry sauce combination seemed complete and the crab seemed extraneous. Well, I think it would have been a fine pizza without the crab, but I used it anyway and it added yet another layer of interest, which put it over the top.
Put simply, this was a memorable pizza: roasted pears on brie, with a cranberry background, topped with crab.
1 pizza shell (see Pizza Basics for recipe, procedure, etc.)
8 slices roasted pear (see below)
2 oz additional roasted pear, in 1/2" dice
5 oz fresh crab meat
1 small onion, sliced thin
4 T cranberry sauce
2 tsp prepared horseradish
8 thin slices brie
When the pizza shell has completed the second rising, spread olive oil over it, sparsely, and then scatter the onion over it. Bake 10 minutes on a preheated stone in a 450º oven.
Mix the cranberry sauce and the horseradish. Spread this mixture over the half-baked pie. Lay on the brie slices, then the 8 slices of pear. Scatter on the additional pear and then the crabmeat. Lower the heat to 400º and bake 8 - 10 more minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. Slice and serve immediately.
4 firm bosc pears
1/3 C sugar
1/4 C cognac
Halve and core the pears. Place in a glass roasting pan, cut side up. Brush with cognac and sprinkle with sugar. Roast in a preheated 400º oven, for about 20 minutes. Turn cut side down, baste, and roast another 15 minutes or so, basting several more times, until tender.