Seattle has good pizza. Seriously. Despite all that you may have heard. You just have to know where to look, and the new best place that hopefully catches your eye is Tom Douglas’s Serious Pie. This is some fricken good pizza. Seriously.
Starting with the crust. It’s thin and lightly crisp, but plenty strong to hold up the toppings. It’s chewy, but not doughy or heavy. And, it has flavor! It’s like the best flatbread you’ve had, but with the perfect pizza crust texture. It is simply seriously good crust.
Then, there the toppings. Combinations that are simple and fresh with just the most basic little twists. The sausage pizza is a sweet sausage paired with cherry bomb peppers; a basic mushroom pizza becomes exceptional with wild mushrooms and gobs of truffled cheese; pancetta mixes it up with penn cove clams. Of course, the old standard, tomato and cheese is nothing to look down on, with fresh buffalo mozzarella and just the right seasonings in the san marzano tomato sauce.
Both the starters and sweets are well portioned and priced… an anchovy and celery salad generously blanketed in olive oil and cheese (perhaps a bit too much?) was a refreshing change to the everyday caesar salad, and Merv’s Washington Apples and prosciutto was a fantastic blend of sweet and salty.
I spied a cranberry hand pie in the sweets section before the meal began, and knew I’d need to save some room… tough to do when the rest of the food was so delicious, but well worth it. The flakey puffed pastry hid a stash of sweet-tart. Not only did I have no problem finishing it, but I immediately began craving another the next day, and decided to create my own.
I took a short-cut and used Dufour’s frozen puff pastry, and decided to make mine a touch sweeter with the addition of raspberries. Baking takes about 30 minutes, but is most of the work for these little treats.
Cran-Raspberry Hand Pies
(loosely based on the cranberry hand pies at Serious Pie)
Makes about 6 small pies
1 recipe/package of puff pastry dough
1 cup cranberries
1 cup raspberries
1/4 cup sugar (or a bit more if you prefer them more sweet than tart)
1 t orange peel
powdered sugar (optional)
Combine the cranberries, raspberries, sugar and orange peel together and give a good toss. Let sit together for about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Roll out the pastry if necessary to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut small rounds, about 4 inches in diameter, from the rolled out pastry. Pile a tablespoon or so of the berry mixture near the center of the round. Fold the pastry over the filling, and crimp the edge with a fork. Lightly brush the outside of the pastry with the egg wash. Make a few small slits in the top of the pastry for steam. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool for about 5 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.
Now, if I can only figure out how they make their pizza dough, and get one of those fancy gazillion degree wood-fired ovens!