Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pumpkin or Sweet Potato Calzone



Pumpkin Calzone
I had some leftover roasted pumpkin in the freezer. I used it in this recipe after draining it for a couple of days. If you don’t have fresh sweet potato puree is a nice alternative, see recipe below. Start by making the dough. While it's rising, make the filling.


Cornmeal Calzone Crust
Makes 6 calzones
This dough can be made by hand as well, whenever possible I prefer to make yeast and pasta doughs in the mixer, it's a lot easier.

2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon honey
2/3rds cup warm water (not hotter than 110∞)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Stir the honey in the hot water to dissolve. Add the yeast, let stand for 10 minutes, the yeast will "bloom" and become creamy, set aside.




In the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook whisk together the flour, cornmeal and sea salt. Add the yeast mixture and the oil. Mix on low with the dough hook until a dough forms, about 2 minutes.




Increase to medium speed and knead the dough inside the mixer until it is smooth, elastic and forms a ball that pulls away from the bottom of the bowl, about 8 minutes. You may need to add a couple of additional tablespoons of flour to get the right consistency.



Place the dough in a clean greased bowl covered with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm area for 1 hour, until doubled in size. Meanwhile, make the Pumpkin Calzone Filling.


Pumpkin Calzone Filling
Makes 2 1/2 cups filling

1 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups pumpkin or sweet potato puree
3/4 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded fresh mozzarella
1 large egg, lightly beaten
a pinch ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add butter, olive oil, garlic, and shallot. Sautee until shallot is golden and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir together remaining ingredients until uniform. Combine with the olive oil - shallot mixture. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.

Getting It Together
Place a large pizza stone in the center of the oven. If you don’t own a pizza stone, these will still turn out fine. Heat oven to 450∞. Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Pat each piece into a thin round about 7 inches in diameter. Spread a heaping 1/3 cup of filling over each half the round, leaving a 1/2 inch border at the edge. Fold the dough over the filling, press out as much air as possible and pinch to seal the edges. Carefully lift the calzones one by one onto the pizza stone or a sheet pan dusted with cornmeal. Bake about 20 minutes or until nicely browned on the outside.


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