Look for apricots that are slightly underripe so they'll stand up to the heat, or you can substitute two medium peaches. We like the smooth texture and intense flavor of imported Parma prosciutto in this dish.
Combine 1/2 cup warm water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add 4 teaspoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt to yeast mixture. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Sprinkle flour over yeast mixture; mix 2 minutes or until a soft dough forms. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; cover surface of dough with plastic wrap lightly coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate 24 hours.
Remove dough from refrigerator. Let stand, covered, 1 hour or until dough comes to room temperature. Punch dough down. Roll dough out to a thin 12-inch circle on a lightly floured baking sheet, without raised edges, sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges to form a 1/2-inch border. Pierce dough several times with a fork. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap.
Position an oven rack in the lowest setting. Place a pizza stone on lowest rack. Preheat oven to 550°. Preheat the pizza stone for 30 minutes before baking dough.
Combine 1 tablespoon oil, thyme, pepper, apricots, shallots, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss gently. Remove plastic wrap from dough; slide dough onto preheated pizza stone, using a spatula as a guide. Bake at 550° for 4 minutes. Top dough with goat cheese and apricot mixture. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cut pizza into 10 slices; sprinkle with parsley and chives. Toss arugula with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; arrange arugula over apricot mixture. Top with prosciutto and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Cut into 10 wedges.
Wine note: When a dish has an ingredient that is also a signature flavor in a wine, go with the match. For this pizza, it's viognier, a full-bodied, aromatic white that often announces itself with apricot aromas. Try the Bridlewood 2008 Reserve Viognier from California's central coast ($24). Under its stone fruit flavors lurk layers of citrus—tangerine and tangy grapefruit—with an elegant honeysuckle wrap. Rich enough to love the prosciutto on the pizza, the wine has lovely acidity that works well with goat cheese, too. —Sara Schneider
I used this recipe as a jumping off point, as my husband doesn't like "leafy things" on his pizza, haha. I started with a ball of whole-wheat pizza dough from my bakery, added tomato sauce (the most significant change I made), and then put all the "real pizza toppings" on: the cheeses, prosciutto (as we like it a little crispier), and apricots as dressed in the recipe. I served it with an arugula salad with the last of the goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. We both loved the pizza; the sweet and savory flavors balanced each other so well, and serving the "leafy things" as a salad made it feel like a full meal, instead of just takeout. The hardest part in this recipe was pitting the apricots; I'd recommend you pick firm ones, as riper ones tend to squish as you pull the halves apart.
This recipe is fantastic. I've been making it about once a month since I saw the recipe in Cooking Light last year. When I can't find apricots I substitute pears and both versions are great. Even my 3 and 5 year old love it! When time is a concern I just purchase dough made by our local grocery stores bakery and use that. I've even pulled this recipe off without warming the pizza stone as long as the recipe states and it still turns out great.
Like the CL Chicken, Red Grape and Pesto Pizza recipe (Sept 2009), this combines an interesting blend of flavors and again proves that fruit can fit right in on pizza - even if it's not pineapple. I made the crust the same day with white whole wheat flour, but made the rest according to recipe. The toppings don't stay put as well as with cheesier pizzas, but you don't really care. It was more time consuming than it looked at the outset to put together and the leftovers do get a tad soggy, but this is something I would make again.
I subbed fresh mango for the apricot and it was terrific! I also only used goat cheese, not both types of cheese. I had the spread-type goat cheese and spread it on the hot crust after it baked the first time. I am a vegetarian so I sauteed fresh mushrooms with a bit of liquid smoke for that meaty flavor and omitted the prosciutto. It needed a bit of fresh lemon juice to cut the arugula's bitterness. After that, it was great! Would definitely make this again! Be sure to heat your oven like the recipe says, so your crust stays crispy!
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