Christmas Eve Onion Pie by Nick Malgieri
I wish I could take the credit for the recipe creation of this Pizza Pie, but alas.. it didn't have my name on it at all! There are very few recipes that I repeatedly make preparations for without altering them a tad. Pastry recipes really need to be followed accurately, but they all seem to come out differently. So when it comes to finding the right pie crust or dough that tastes great and comes out perfectly flaky I stick with Nick Malgieri's. Surprising though, he isn't just a great pastry and dessert chef, he's Italian, so that makes him an all around fabulous cook! :)
I recently found this recipe for Focaccia alla Barese by Nick Malgieri. I usually use a basic pizza dough but was looking for something a little different when I came upon this Onion Pie. Everything about it is wonderful! I did rinse the anchovies though and lessoned the amount of salt in the dough by 1/2 a teaspoon because my preference is a little bit less salty. But everything else was perfect! Besides the Onion, Olive and Anchovy pie, I have a Basil and Fresh Mozzarella pie pictured here also. Speaking of pictures.. my husband was breaking ground on a new project this past week and took our new camera with him out of town.. have you ever seen two adults playing tug o war! I really didn't want to post these photo's at all, the quality and clarity is so different. I took a million photos trying to have at least one worth posting. There is one picture below from my new camera.. it was a photo I took the first time I made this recipe a week and a half ago but the pizza was a little overdone
so I never used the pictures, except one! :)
Ciao and Buon Appetito!
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water, about 110 degrees
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for sprinkling the top of the focaccia before baking
3 or 4 medium (about 2 pounds) white onions, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
Very little salt
Freshly ground pepper
2-ounce can of anchovies packed in oil, drained and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup black Gaeta olives, halved and pitted
1/3 cup green Barese olives, halved and pitted
1 teaspoon Kosher or other coarse salt for drizzling the top of the focaccia before baking
1 10 x 15-inch jellyroll pan brushed with 3 tablespoons olive oil
For the dough, stir together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the yeast into the water and then whisk in the oil. Use a large rubber spatula to mix the liquid into the flour. Continue stirring vigorously until the dough is fairly smooth and there are no longer any dry patches. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until it doubles in bulk, about 1 hour.
While the dough is rising, cook the onions. Put the 4 tablespoons oil and onions in a wide sauté pan and place over medium heat. Season very lightly with salt (the anchovies and olives are both salty) and grind over about 5 or 6 turns of the peppermill. Once the onions start to sizzle, decrease the heat to low and cook until the onions are very soft and translucent, about 20 to 30 minutes. Scrape the onions into a bowl and set aside to cool.
When the dough has risen, scrape it into the prepared pan in one piece. Lightly oil your hands and press the dough into the pan to cover it completely. If the dough resists, wait 5 minutes, then pull the dough into the corners of the pan. Cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap and set it aside until it puffs a little, about 20 to 30 minutes. (It does not need to double in bulk.)
As soon as you cover the dough, set a rack in the lowest level of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
When the dough has puffed, use a fingertip to indent it at 1 1/2-inch intervals all over the surface, pressing firmly but without piercing the dough through to the bottom of the pan.
Mix the anchovies and olives into the onions and spoon the topping in mounds all over the top of the dough. Use a medium offset spatula to gently and evenly spread the topping on the dough. Drizzle the topping with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with the Kosher or coarse salt.
Bake the focaccia until it is well risen and the bottom is well colored, about 30 minutes. Lift a corner of the focaccia with a large metal spatula to check that the bottom is well done.
Use a wide metal spatula to slide the focaccia from the pan to a rack to cool.