The most important thing I think about when putting a pizza recipe together is balance. I always try to have a combination of salt, sweet, heat, freshness and eye appeal. For my first recipe I wanted to present something I really love, pork belly. I decided the blackberry’s sweet juiciness pairs well with the rich, salty flavor of a beautifully seared pork belly.
The blackberries also hold up well during the cooking process. They remain almost fully intact and explode with flavor when this sauce is complete. For this pizza, I added a little heat (habanero) that cooks down with the berries, as well as some sugar to make a bright, sweet and flavorful condiment. I love the way pork and fruit play with each other. Add those flavors to a crispy crust along with creamy, whole milk mozzarella, fatty delicious pork belly, a sweet/hot mixture of some fresh in season berries and some greens and this one is a balanced attack for your taste buds.
If you don’t want the heat, it is just fine without the habanero. My advice: start with half of the habanero, seeds and ribs removed, when cooking with the berries. Taste the mixture after it cools a little. If you are fine with the heat, leave it alone. If you say, “hey this isn’t so bad, I can handle some more,” then put the other half of the pepper (ribs and seeds removed, unless you are really wild) in the mixture during storage. It’s super easy to add more heat. But it’s not as easy to take it away, so ease into this and find the level that you are comfortable with. Finishing this pizza, I chose to go with some really thinly sliced scallion and some micro arugula. The scallions have a mild and subtle onion taste that I think goes well, while the arugula adds that pop of freshness and a little black pepper flavor.
- Three 10-ounce dough balls
- 12 ounces whole milk, low moisture mozzarella
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed
- 12 ounces pre-cooked pork belly
- 1 pint blackberries
- ¼ cup Sugar
- 1 habanero, sliced thin, seeds/ribs removed
- 6 scallions
- Micro arugula
- Slice pork belly into ¾ pieces, then add to a pre-heated pan on medium-high heat and cook on both sides until browned and the edges crisp slightly.
- Remove pork belly and place on a towel-lined plate to cool. In that same pan add blackberries, sugar, water and half of the habanero.
- Stir often. After 3-4 minutes, the blackberries will start to breakdown, but still remain whole.
- Turn down heat to low and cook for 3-5 more minutes while juice from berries starts to turn to syrup. Cool and taste. If you can handle more heat, add the remaining habanero to blackberry sauce. Thinly slice scallion and put aside.
- Stretch pizza dough onto a floured peel. Add 4 ounces whole milk mozzarella, 2 ounces cubed fresh mozz, 3 ounces of pork belly and cook pizza for around 8 mins at 600 F.
- When pizza is finished, remove from oven and let rest on a cooling rack for a minute.
- Cut pizza into 6 slices, add a blackberry to each slice and lightly spoon reserved fruit syrup around the pizza.
- Sprinkle scallions and micro arugula to cover your pizza with bright green freshness. Enjoy!