A different kind of sweet potato pie

Last night I had some friends over for a meal of homemade pizza. A few weeks ago, Sam and I were at my parents’ home for dinner, and my mom served us sweet potato pizza. It reminded me of the potato pizza I would sometimes get when I was a grad student in Rome. So, along with a broccoli rabe and and spicy mushroom pie, and a pepperoni gorgonzola one that Sam constructed for the meat lovers in the crowd, I decided to serve a sweet potato (pizza) pie.

Sweet Potato Pizza Pie

I like a whole wheat crust– made with part whole wheat and part white flours, so that it’s flavorful, but not too dense. It’s best if you can let it rise all day, or even over night, but if you’re pressed for time, a rapid rise yeast can give you a dough in about 45 minutes. Put it in a warm, 150 degree oven to speed up the rising process.

INGREDIENTS

Dough

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose white flour (bleaching unnecessarily uses chemicals to whiten the flour, depleting it of nutrients)
  • Dash of salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Toppings

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (I used sweet onions, but yellow or red will work as well. If using red, omit the sugar.)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (may substitute 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled, thinly sliced
  • handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated hard cheese, like parmesan or pecorino– I used a sheep’s milk cheese that Sam had brought home the other day
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

After your dough has risen, preheat the oven to 500 (or your oven’s highest setting). If using a pizza stone, which I recommend because it will give you the crispiest crust, be sure it is in your oven as it preheats, and give it a dusting of cornmeal. Caramelize your onions by heating the olive oil in a skillet, and adding the chopped onions, minced garlic, and sugar. Let them cook over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, until the onions are translucent and browned and have released their sugars. and peel and thinly slice a large sweet potato. Slice your sweet potato and chop up your rosemary.

On a lightly oiled surface, roll out the pizza dough. If you’re using a pizza stone and have a peel, then assemble your pizza on the counter or peel and transfer to the oven. If you don’t have a peel, carefully remove your stone from the oven– it will be hot– and place the dough directly on the stone for assembly. Spread the caramelized onions onto the dough. Sprinkle the rosemary on. Place the sweet potato slices on. Bake for about 10 minutes in the oven, or until the dough is crispy and the potatoes are soft. Remove from the oven, sprinkle on cheese, and garnish with fresh basil. Cut with a pizza cutter or kitchen scissors. Enjoy with a salad and a glass of wine!

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