May Recipe: Vermont Pizza with Apples, Cheddar & Maple

This 2015 Crowd Pleaser award winning recipe features three of Vermont’s most iconic flavors: maple, cheddar, and apples. The savory combination paired with the chewy crust keeps you coming back for more. This recipe is made with a quick, yeasted dough with minimal rise time, which enabled the 2015 Champlain Valley Union High School Team to make their dish within competition time. See tips below for serving suggestions.

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Yeild: 2 large or 4 medium pizzas

EQUIPMENT

  • rolling pin
  • medium bowl
  • small bowl
  • measuring cup
  • large mixing spoon
  • whisk
  • chef’s or paring knife
  • 2 baking sheets
  • parchment paper or handful of cornmeal

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp cornmeal or parchment paper for the pan

Pizza toppings

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small or 1 large crisp apple (pink lady, granny smith, etc.), thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup Vermont maple syrup
  • 2 cups Vermont cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ chopped red or sweet onion, or handful of fresh chives, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

PREPARATION

Step 1: Dough
1a.
Proof the yeast: In a large bowl, mix yeast, sugar, and water. Cover with a towel and let it sit for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to grow and form bubbles and foam.
1b. Add salt, olive oil, and honey. Mix with a whisk until the honey dissolves.
1c. With a whisk, stir in the first 1 cup flour until combined. Switch to a wooden spoon, and gradually add the remaining flour until a soft dough ball forms and no longer sticks the sides of the bowl. You may need to add a little more flour. The dough should no longer stick to your fingers and should be soft, smooth, and not too sticky. Try not to over work the dough. Allow to rest 10 minutes.
1d. Preheat oven to 475°F.

Step 2: Prepare toppings
2a. Shred cheese, mince garlic, thinly slice apples, and (if using) thinly slice onions or chives.
2b. In a small bowl, pour the maple syrup over the sliced apples.

Step 3: Roll dough and assemble pizzas
3a
. Divide dough in half, and set one half on a lightly floured surface. Form it into a disk, and it roll out into a circle or an oblong oval. Alternatively, you can cut the dough into fourths and roll out into smaller circles. Transfer rolled out dough onto cornmeal covered/parchment-lined/or cornmeal-sprinkled sheet pan.
3b. Using your hands, spread a thin layer of olive over the pizza dough. Add minced garlic, remove excess maple, and layer the apples, cheddar, and onions/chives (if using). Be sure to evenly distribute toppings: too many toppings piled in the center will cause your pizza to be soggy.
3c. Place pizza in the oven. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the crust is golden and cheese is melted and browned in spots.
3d. Remove pizza, allow to cool slightly and drizzle with leftover syrup from the apples. Slice and enjoy.

NOTES + TIPS

This recipe would make a great appetizer or full meal with a nice crisp side salad or a bowl of warm soup in the fall or winter. This pizza is great the following day packed for lunch. This dough may easily be doubled if cooking for a crowd or having a pizza making party.

While the maple syrup is the star of this pizza, additional toppings can add an additional savory dimension. Try adding any of these to your pizza:

  • Finely chopped fresh herbs: basil, thyme, rosemary, or sage
  • Chopped crispy bacon
  • Smoked cheddar/ parmesan
  • Caramelized onions
  • Soft roasted garlic
  • Chopped pecans or walnuts
  • Thinly sliced squash such as delicata or butternut
  • Sweet pickled jalapeno slices
  • Mix in some hot sauce with your maple drizzled
  • Crisp fresh arugula, added after the pizza is baked