The Party Pizza as Promised

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Right after You’re Grown – Now You Can Cook went to the publisher, a good friend asked me to do a demonstration dinner from the cookbook for her supper club.  That sounded like the most fun thing in the world and it took me about a half second to say yes. We talked about the recipes and came up with a delightful menu. The only dish that wasn’t from the cookbook was Fig Pizza, which my friend wanted because she’d heard me talk about it so often – either that, or she was just in disbelief that such a thing existed. So Fig Pizza it was. I planned to use the same crust as I did with The Casual Pizza, topped with fig preserves, goat cheese, almonds and arugula. It’s an easy and different appetizer, plus entertaining to make with a bunch of guests watching.

Last summer I made fig preserves with my surprisingly large collection of back yard figs. That batch was long gone, but I thought I could waltz into any grocery store and snap up a couple of jars. Well, five groceries stores later after no success, I finally tried the big one that has cool stuff, weird stuff, and expensive stuff - I think we all know what I’m talking about. Fig preserves was right there on the shelf, and two jars were going to cost about $20, plus tax, so I thought, “I’ll just make it myself.” The second sticker shock of the day was the price of fresh figs, who knew my back yard was a potential goldmine? So, time to improvise – with dried (affordable) figs. This turned out to be a great plan. The figs were easy to work with; I got to add my favorite ingredients, fresh ginger and a shot of rum and viola! 24 oz of dried figs became seven jars of fig preserves. I’m going to make this all the time it’s delicious. A definite must for our late night toast addiction. Does everybody have that?

The supper club party was even more fun than I had imagined. The Party Pizza was a huge success, and of course, I found fig preserves at a more reasonably priced grocery a few days after the party. But I’m not backing down, this homemade preserves is the best I’ve ever had and it made the pizza really just over the top. Make the pizza for sure with any fig preserves you can find, but the Fig Preserves recipe included as a bonus recipe. Enjoy!

 Fig Pizza (The Party Pizza)

Ingredients

6 Flat-Outs mini flat bread, cut in half, or mini pita bread (see The Casual Pizza)

1 Tbsp olive oil

8 oz jar of fig preserves

4 to 6 oz roll of goat cheese (other soft cheeses would work too – goat cheese is salty 

and a great combination with the sweetness of the fig preserves)

¼ cup toasted almonds, chopped

A couple of handfuls of arugula

 Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat and lightly brown flat breads about a minute on each side.

Place flat breads on a baking sheet and spread each one with enough fig preserves to cover.

Top with crumbled goat cheese, about 2 Tbsp depending on the crust size, and a sprinkle of chopped almonds

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes to melt cheese.

Top with arugula and serve immediately.

 Fig Preserves

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 Ingredients

28 oz dried figs, any stems removed

5 cups water

3 cups sugar

1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger (1 tsp dry would be ok, but not as flavorful)

Juice of one lemon

2 Tbsp rum

 Directions

Add figs to 4-quart pot or Dutch oven.

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Add water and bring to boil. Remove from heat and let stand until figs are plumped, about 15 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, remove figs; reserve liquid. Let cool briefly.

Coarsely chop figs.

Add figs, sugar, ginger, and lemon juice to reserved liquid and heat to boil.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until thickened.

Stir in rum; heat to boil.  Boil 1 minute.

Ladle into sterilized pint or 1/2-pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.

Cover and seal jars according to instructions.

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© Deer One Publishing 2019