Homemade Pizza inspired by Outlander book The Fiery Cross

Roger & Bree's Homemade Pizza from TFC for Valentine's Day

"Pizza," he said.

She blinked, then laughed.  It was one of their games; taking turns to think of things they missed from the other time, the time before -- or after, depending on how you looked at it.

"Coke," she said promptly.  "I think I could maybe do pizza -- but what good is pizza without Coca-Cola?"

"Pizza with beer is perfectly fine," he assured her.  "And we can have beer -- not that Lizzie's homemade hell-brew is quite on par with MacEwan's Lager, yet.  But you really think you could make pizza?"

"Don't see why not."  She nibbled at the cheese, frowning.  "this wouldn't do" -- she brandished the yellowish remnant, then popped it in her mouth -- "too strong-flavoured.  But I think..." she paused to chew and swallow, then washed it down with a long drink of rough cider.

"Come to think of it, this would go pretty well with pizza." She lowered the leather bottle and licked the last sweet, semi-alcoholic drops from her lips.  "But the cheese -- I think maybe sheep's cheese would do.  Da brought some from Salem last time he went there.  I'll ask him to get some more and see how it melts."

She squinted against the bright, pale sun, calculating.

"Mama's got plenty of dried tomatoes, and tons of garlic.  I know she has basil don't know about the oregano, but I could do without that. And crust -- "  She waved a dismissive hand.  "Flour, water, and lard, nothing to it."

Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (Chapter 20)

After last week's excerpt, when we left Roger dragging Brianna out the back door of the big house to bring an end to that stramash she had with Mrs Bug, I felt the need to inject a little love back into the page for Valentine's Day!

And so here we find R&B taking a break from their morning's shooting lessons -- a quiet moment, not terribly full of amorous feeling (especially when it comes to DG) -- but still one of my favourites between them.  After all, they don't have a lot of free time to wax lyrical about love; they're a little busy surviving the backwoods of Colonial America, thanks very much!

Dauco seeds, a MacGyvered pizza, three or four precious gems and a half decent pint of lager...that's just a partial list of what these 20th Century kids need to get along in their New World.

dried-tomatoes-mushrooms copy

As for my adaptation of the pizza Roger & Bree dreamed up over their lunch of ham and piccalilli, I tried to stay as true to DG's words as I could.  At least for the first pie.

I spread some basil pesto on the crust and dotted it with an umami-filled puree made from the sundried tomatoes and Porcini mushrooms you see above.  I soaked them in boiling water (and a bit of sherry) for 20 minutes, then drained and squeezed the extra water out of them before chopping finely.  I have no doubt Claire would have had some dried mushrooms around -- probably not Porcinis -- but you have to use what you've got, right?  :)

Also on top was some thinly sliced raw garlic, cured sausage, onion and goat's cheese.

Pretty modern sounding for 1770, eh?  But I promise you it's as authentic as an 18th Century pizza can be...

homemade pizza pesto

I went my own way with the second pizza, and opted for a tomato base followed by a mix of mozzarella and parmesan.

Next on were some eggplant slices that I had earlier dredged in seasoned flour and pan fried, as well as red peppers, roasted garlic, anchovies (for my Englishman) and a few dollops of leftover pesto.

tomato pizza copy

The crust recipe is one I adapted from Saveur.com -- I've used for over a year now, and it's the best homemade crust I've found in an (almost) lifelong search.

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone out there.  Keep it real.

Homemade Pizza

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