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Strawberry and Vanilla Christmas Stocking Dessert Pizza

Strawberry and Vanilla Christmas Stocking Dessert Pizza

The 6th of December is Saint Nicholas Day (in honor of the patron saint of children), and is a popular holiday for families in Germany. The celebrations begin the day before, when St. Nicholas (also spelled Nikolas and Nikolaus) visits children and tests their behavior, sometimes asking them to recite a song or poem. That night, they leave their (ideally clean) shoes at the door, hoping the next morning they will be filled with goodies as a reward. This is often in addition to presents left in stockings — hung early in anticipation of St. Nick’s visit. 

To celebrate, we’ve put a spin on the festive stocking with this strawberry and vanilla pudding pizza, shaped and decorated to look like St. Nicholas’ boot. Once the base is cooked, topping and decorating the pizza is a great way to get the kids involved. It’s a nice exclamation point to  the end of a long day full of anticipation, cleaning and putting away toys before the arrival of a certain midnight visitor. 

While we suggest using vanilla pudding and freshly sliced strawberries, you could choose any flavored pudding base (chocolate or caramel, for instance), or opt for berry jam or conserve instead. Of course, a savory version with tomato sauce and a mozzarella lining would be delicious, too. Whatever your style, this unique pizza is sure to be a fun treat for the whole family.

Notes: This recipe requires a blind bake using ice cubes. You’ll also need a pair of gloves and metal tongs. Watch this clip to get a sense of how the ice cube technique works. 

Time
25 minutes

Yield
Serves 6 as a dessert

Equipment 
Ooni Pizza Oven
Ooni Infrared Thermometer
Oven gloves
Metal tongs
Ooni Pizza Cutter Wheel or Ooni Pizza Cutter Rocker Blade 

Ingredients 
250-gram pizza dough ball 
flour, for dusting
3 medium-sized ice cubes
4 tablespoons (64 grams) vanilla pudding or vanilla custard
5 large strawberries, thinly sliced lengthwise
½ cup (70 grams) chocolate candy or chopped chocolate
2-3 ounces (70 grams) fresh or canned whipped cream

Method
This recipe suits a low-hydration dough that’s easy to work with, so Ooni’s classic pizza dough is a great fit. Prepare your dough in advance and allow it to reach room temperature before stretching. 

Fire up your Ooni pizza oven. Aim for 750°F (400°C) on the baking stone. Use the infrared thermometer to quickly and accurately check the temperature. 

On a lightly floured surface, gently slice halfway through the dough ball so two corners are formed. Use your fingers to push the air out from the center into the corners, just as you normally would, but begin to shape the two points outward into an ‘L’ shape. . As you continue to stretch, use your fingers to press the dough into a smooth boot shape, using the guide below as a reference. Don’t attempt to thin out the dough too much, it’ll be much easier to par-bake with a thicker base.

Once you’re satisfied with your boot shape, transfer the dough to a lightly floured peel. Distribute your ice cubes evenly across the dough, then carefully slide the pizza off the peel and into the oven. Try to prevent the ice cubes from sliding off the pizza (and use a long pair of metal tongs to reposition them if this proves impossible.). 

Watch the dough closely as it cooks, using gloves and metal tongs to move the ice cubes around the dough as they melt. Turn the pizza every 30 seconds for 90 seconds, until the crust turns golden brown.

Remove the pizza and dab away any excess moisture. Spoon the vanilla pudding or custard over the top, spreading the mixture evenly over the base. (Leave a few centimeters at the edges for the crust.) Top with strawberries, layering the slices in a fish scale pattern.  Adorn with your favorite chocolate candy, then pipe whipped cream in a  thick line at the top of the shoe to represent the fluffy white lining of Santa's boot. Note: This step is a great way to get small hands involved with the decorating!

Slice into 6 portions however you see fit and serve right away. Enjoy!

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