Upside Down Tomato Pizza

Upside Down Tomato Pizza
Recipe type: Pizza
  • One 9-ounce of your signature pizza dough formed into an eight-inch disc
  • 40 to 60 grape or small cherry tomatoes (enough to cover a 8- or 10-inch round pan)
  • 10 to 14 fresh basil leaves, enough to cover the tomatoes
  • 2 ounces of thinly sliced Parmesan
  • 3 to 5 ounces thinly shaved fresh mozzarella from a log (fresh mozzarella in brine will not work here as it exudes too much moisture.)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  1. The Bottom: Brush ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil on the bottom of an 8- or 10-inch deep sided pie pan.
  2. Place cherry or grape tomatoes in the bottom of the pan. (Small cherry tomatoes work best for this recipe as they produce fewer gaps where the mozzarella can seep down when baking. Leave enough space for the dough to be tucked into the sides.)
  3. Place large leaves of basil (lettuce leaf basil is great) on top of the tomatoes to create a carpet so the mozzarella will not melt out.
  4. Place thin sheets of shaved Parmesan atop the basil leaves.
  5. This melts harder than the mozzarella and halts the water-like flow of melting mozzarella.
  6. Place thin sheets of mozzarella atop the Parmesan.
  7. Without disturbing the ingredients, place the dough over the ingredients.
  8. Brush 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil (less for 8-inch pan) on top of the dough.
  9. Gently push dough down into the sides of the pan while you spin the pan around.
  10. This will create the crust.
  11. Some tomatoes will pop up under the dough; make sure you haven’t crowded the pan too much. If not, push them back down. (Note: poke seven small pin holes in the dough around the edges, this will let some steam escape. Do not make them too big.)
  12. Proof the pizza in the pan for 30 minutes at 80 F.
  13. The Bake: Place the pan in a 475 F oven for seven minutes and check the progress. If the dough is puffing up, take another pan and press the dough ceiling down.
  14. Place back in the oven for another seven minutes.
  15. Pull the upside down pizza out of the oven and check the dough by placing a knife down the side. The dough around the edges and at the top should be golden now but the steamed dough inside may still need cooking.
  16. It’s time to flip.
  17. The Flip: Place a large pizza peel or cookie sheet on top of the pan and flip.
  18. The pizza should pop out and you may lose a few tomatoes that are easily replaceable.
  19. Sprinkle the tomatoes with sea salt then place the pizza on a hard-bottomed pan to cook the top of the tomatoes and the upper crust for approximately five to ten more minutes.
  20. Cool somewhat, present and enjoy!