Pear & caramelized onion pizza

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Do you have a favorite pizza recipe? Well here is mine! This pear & caramelized onion pizza is absolutely packed with flavor! From the sweet caramelized onions to the nutty spiced pears everything in this recipe has something to contribute. 

This recipe is made with a gluten free pizza crust so it is completely gluten free. However, if you do not have a gluten intolerance you can also make this pizza with a regular pizza crust. In addition to being gluten free, this pizza is also vegetarian, egg free, and nut free.

You can make this caramelized onion and pear pizza with a store bought pizza crust or a homemade pizza crust. The recipe at the end of this article assumes that you already have a gluten free pizza crust ready. If you need instruction for how to make a homemade gluten free pizza crust see our recipe for gluten free pizza crust

Fully cooked caramelized onion and pear pizza

Can you make this with premade pizza crust?

Can you make this recipe with premade pizza crust? Of course! The recipe at the end of this article assumes that you already have a pizza crust ready. If you are using a store bought pizza crust just follow any instructions on the box (defrosting instructions, etc.) then start off at the beginning of the recipe. If you need instructions on how to make a homemade pizza crust see our recipe for gluten free pizza crust

What temperature do you cook pizza at?

What temperature do you cook homemade pizza dough at? Homemade pizza should be cooked at a high temperature. You should cook homemade pizza at 450-500 degrees. If you have thin toppings on your pizza that might burn at high temperatures you should cook your pizza at 450 – 475 degrees. If your toppings are chunky and unlikely to burn you can cook your pizza at 475 – 500 degrees. This caramelized onion and pear pizza is cooked at 475 because it is topped with spinach leaves that are more likely to burn at 500 degrees. 

Caramelized onions cooking on the stove

How to caramelize onions

If you have ever caramelized onions before you know that it is a process. Caramelizing onions is a relatively passive process that does not take much active work once the onions are cooking but it does take some time. Here is how to make caramelized onions. 

  1. Cut the onions in thin slices. When you are making caramelized onions you should cut your onions in thin slices. The thinner your onion slices are the more easily they will caramelize. 
  2. Toss the onions in salt and fat. You should make sure to salt your onions whenever you make caramelized onions. Salting the onions draws water out to the surface of the onions so that it evaporates faster. This speeds up the caramelization process. You should use a liberal amount of oil or butter to caramelize onions. 
  3. Spend a few minutes on medium high heat. Most of the caramelization happens on medium low heat. However, you can speed the caramelization process up a little by pre-cooking the onions on medium high heat for 5-10 minutes until they start to brown lightly. 
  4. Cook on medium low heat for a long time. After the onions have started to develop a little color you can switch them over to medium low heat. You should cook the onions on medium low heat for 30-45 minutes. You will need to stir the onions periodically and add a little water to the pan to deglaze the pan every 10-15 minutes. 

What spices go with pear?

What spices go with pear? Before you decide what spices to pair with pears you have a decision to make. You have to decide whether you want the pears to have more of a sweet flavor or a savory flavor. If you are looking for a savory flavor you should use spices like rosemary, thyme, sage, and nutmeg. If you are looking to play up the sweet flavor of pear you should use spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg – think of the types of spices you see apple pie or pumpkin spice. 

Pears cooking in butter and spices

Timeline for making a pear pizza from scratch

So you want to make this pear pizza using a homemade pizza crust. There are a decent number of steps involved in making this pizza from scratch. It helps to visualize what your time will look like ahead of time. Feel free to skip this section if you are using a store bought pizza crust. 

You can save some time by doing some light multi-tasking. For example you can caramelize your onions while the pizza dough rises for the first time then cook your pears while the pizza dough rises for the second time. 

Much of this time spent making this pizza will be relatively inactive. When you are letting the dough rise for the first time and cooking the caramelized onions you will only need to stir the onions occasionally. When you are letting the dough rise for a second time and cooking the pears you will only need to flip the pears once. Here is what your timeline might look like. 

  • 0 – 10 minutes: Proof yeast by pouring it in a bowl of warm water and sugar.    
  • 10-15 minutes: Combine the yeast mixture with the other dough ingredients to make the pizza dough.
  • 15 minutes – 75 minutes: Let the pizza dough rise until it has doubled in size. Move the pizza dough to the refrigerator if it doubles in size before you are ready to move on. Chop the onions then caramelize the onions while the dough rises. 
  • 75 minutes – 80 minutes: Spread the pizza dough out into its final shape.
  • 80 minutes – 100 minutes: Let the dough rise for a second time. While the dough rises you can chop and sauté the pears.
  • 100 – 120 minutes: Add the pizza toppings then cook the pizza in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes. 

Caramelized onion and pear pizza before going in the oven

Caramelized onion and pear pizza

This caramelized onion and pear pizza strikes the perfect balance between sweet and savory. This tasty pizza recipe is loaded with sweet caramelized onion, spiced pear, creamy ricotta cheese, spinach, and of course lots of fresh mozzarella cheese.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: egg free, gluten free, nut free, vegetarian
Servings: 1 pizza

Ingredients

  • 9 oz gluten free pizza dough
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Caramelized onions

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Spiced pears

  • 2 pears
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp brown sugar

Instructions

Cook the caramelized onions

  • Slice the onions in long thin slices then toss them with salt.
  • Heat the butter for the caramelized onions in a large pan over medium heat. Cook the onions over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Lower the heat to low or medium low and cook the onions for 30 - 45 more minutes until they are a deep caramel brown color.
    Stir the onions occasionally and pour some water in the pan periodically to deglaze it. This will kick up and sugars that are caked on the bottom of the pan and prevent them from burning. While the onions caramelize you can start cooking the pears.

Cook the spiced pears

  • Cut the pears into thin slices. You can leave the skins on the pears since the slices will be thin.
  • Heat the butter for the spiced pears in a medium sized pot over medium heat. Add the spices for the spiced pears.
    Add the pears to the pot and cook the pears for 10 - 15 minutes. Stir the pears occasionally.

Assemble the pizza

  • Preheat your oven to 475 degrees.
  • Spread out the pizza dough until it is about 1/4 inch in thickness.
    We recommend shaping the pizza crust sheet parchment paper and coating your hands with flour or olive oil to prevent the pizza dough from sticking. 
  • Spread 1 tbsp olive oil over the pizza crust then evenly distribute the mozzarella cheese over the pizza. Add dollops of ricotta cheese in various locations across the pizza. Top the pizza with spinach, pear, and caramelized onion.
  • Bake at 475 for 15-18 minutes until the crust lightly browns around the edges.

Notes

Measuring pizza dough. Are you having trouble figuring out how much pizza dough to use to make this caramelized onion and pear pizza? If you are buying pizza dough at the grocery store then there should be a label on the pizza dough that displays the number of ounces in the bag. If you are making your own pizza, you should use around 1 1/2 cups of flour to make the appropriate amount of dough. 9 ounces of dough should be roughly enough to make a 12 inch pizza.

Substitutions for pear pizza

  • Spinach. Arugula goes great with pear and caramelized onion. If you have any leftover arugula in your refrigerator you should feel free to substitute the spinach with arugula. 
  • Ricotta cheese. If you are not a fan of ricotta cheese you can substitute the ricotta cheese for goat cheese. Goat cheese has a bolder, more tangy flavor than ricotta cheese so the flavor will not be exactly the same but goat cheese goes great with pear and caramelized onion!
  • Gluten free all purpose flour. If you do not have a gluten intolerance you can substitute the gluten free all purpose flour for regular all purpose flour. 

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