Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Personal Pan Cauliflower Pizza Crusts

Cauliflower Pizza is one of those recipes that has continued to stump me.

For one - it's not pizza. Right?! I mean, we all WANT it to be pizza but at the end of the day, it's just mashed up cauliflower with pizza spices. But put cheese on pretty much anything and I'll eat it happily - so I keep trying to find a recipe I like.

And don't get me wrong. I've enjoyed all the cauliflower pizzas I've made - the flavors are spot on - but I've never been able to make an actual pie that you could slice and eat without a fork. The edges always end up burnt and the middle ends up a bit soft.

Then I had what I am now calling a GENIUS idea (because it worked!) - make SMALLER pizzas.

In the spirit of my childhood, I dubbed these "personal pan" because they ended up being handheld and positively delicious!

Each crust was perfectly brown, crisp, and you guessed it...totally able to eaten without a fork. Finally!

The key to these and all cauliflower pizzas is removing the liquid from the steamed cauliflower. You have to let it cool completely (trust me on that!) and then scoop it in to a cheese cloth to be squeezed. Take your time and get out every last drop of moisture. The less moisture, the crisper your pizza - it's worth it.

I started making these early in the day. With Mason's help, I chopped the cauliflower in the food processor, steamed it in the microwave, and then let it cool completely for an hour. Then, just before dinner time, I squeezed out the moisture and added in the cheese and spices.

You bake the crust before topping it too - so definitely give yourself plenty of time to prepare.

This recipe ended up yielding 6 pizzas - 5 round, 1 rectangle - and I think that the next time I whip these up, I'll make them all in to rectangles. More like "french bread" pizzas and way easier to eat. 

I hope you enjoy a batch of your own - I will definitely be making these again soon!

Personal Pan Cauliflower Pizzas

Yields 6 small pizzas

You'll need:

One head cauliflower, cut in to florets
1/4 cup Cabot 50% Sharp Light (or your favorite skim mozzarella), grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Toppings of your choice: I used pizza sauce, Cabot, and turkey pepperoni. 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

Chop your cauliflower in to florets and place in a food processor. Process until the cauliflower resembles rice - scraping down the sides a few times to ensure uniformity. Then place the cauliflower rice in a microwavable bowl, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool COMPLETELY.

Place the cooled cauliflower rice in cheese cloth and squeeze out any liquid. Continue to squeeze until no moisture drips out. You'll be left with what resembles a dough ball of cauliflower. 

Combine the now squeezed cauliflower with the remaining ingredients. Mix well with a spoon or your hands to completely combine. Spread this mixture on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in to your desired shape, using your fingers to press out the mixture. 

Bake the crusts for 10 - 15 minutes (check at 10) until the edges and tops are golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and add your toppings. Place back in the oven for 3-5 minutes - just until the cheese melts.