Nutella, Frangipane and Poached Pear Pizza
Nutella’s the standard for dessert pizza. Spreadable, meltable and delicious, it’s easy to understand why. But that doesn’t mean you have to be satisfied with the same old banana and strawberry pairings. Adding mascarpone, Graham crackers, marshmallows, caramel drizzle, white chocolate chips or peanuts creates layers of flavour and texture, elevating a delicious but one-note, end-of-meal treat into a compelling, bite-after-bite slice. While experimenting to create a Nutella pie that pops, our chef at the Ooni HQ kitchen married the famous hazelnut cocoa spread with frangipane and spiced poached pears for a French take on this dessert pizza classic.
A few tips. First, keep a close eye on your bake: High-sugar toppings tend to burn fast, and frangipane, the French, almond-flavoured cream made of butter, almonds, sugar, flour and vanilla, is definitely on the saccharine side. After a few frangipane fireballs in the test kitchen, we changed our approach and parbaked the crust to avoid any burning. When parbaking a thin Neapolitan-style dough, it will tend to bubble and rise in the center. Don’t panic. Simply pop any big bubble and let it deflate.
We arranged our pears (an easy, but impressive ingredient) in a fan, but take your own artistic license. A Nutella drizzle post-bake means you’ll avoid issues with burning it in the oven. And don’t forget about that salt finish! Flaky sea salt makes every other flavour pop and gives all of that ooey, gooey sweetness necessary balance.
Alternatively, instead of a parbake, this recipe would benefit from a blind bake using ice cubes. If taking this approach, you will need metal tongs and a pair of gloves. Watch this clip to get a sense of how the ice cube technique works.
1 hour active time
Three 12-inch pizzas
3 x 250-gram dough balls
For the poached pears:
3 Bosc pears, peeled and cut in half
946 grams water
473 grams sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
42 grams honey
15 grams sea salt
For the frangipane:
100 grams unsalted butter, softened
100 grams sugar
100 grams almond flour
3 grams kosher salt
1 large egg
15 grams milk
For the garnish:
extra-virgin olive oil
60 grams Nutella
flaky sea salt
This recipe would suit a variety of pizza styles, but we think our classic pizza dough would be a great fit. Make sure to prepare your dough ahead of time to ensure it rises at room temperature before firing up your oven.
For the poached pears
Add pears, water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves, honey and sea salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a low simmer over medium-low heat and make sure the pears are fully submerged in the poaching liquid. Cook until a paring knife slides easily into the pears, but before they turn mushy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool in the liquid. Strain pears and return liquid to pan. Cook over high heat until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Before using for the pizza, thinly slice the pears, using a whole pear per 12-inch pizza.
For the frangipane
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugar and mix at high speed to incorporate. Add the almond flour and beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Add the salt, egg and milk and mix until light and fluffy.
Fire up your oven, aiming for 450 to 500°C on the baking stone inside. Use an infrared thermometer to quickly and accurately check the temperature of the stone.
Place a dough ball on your lightly floured work surface. Push the air from the center out to the edge with your fingers. Stretch the dough out to a 12-inch-round base, then lay the stretched dough over your lightly floured pizza peel. Add a drizzle of olive oil to help flatten the dough while cooking. Slide the pizza off the peel and into the oven. Cook for 60 seconds, until the dough is parbaked. The dough should begin to brown, but still have plenty of blonde spots.
Remove from the oven, then spread ⅓ of the frangipane onto the warm dough using a spatula. Layer the pear slices on top and return to the oven, cooking until the frangipane turns golden brown. Remove from the oven one final time, then drizzle on the Nutella, reduced pear syrup and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Let cool slightly so the frangipane sets up, then slice and serve.