Pizza got your heart? Then you’re going to adore this show-stopping recipe! This Apple, Cheddar & Thyme Heart-Shaped Pizza is a MUST make. Sweet, savoury, and homemade with love.
There is nothing hotter than a guy who can twirl pizza dough, yes?! But THEN imagine the pizza being heart-shaped? Excuse me while I swoon…. Okay I’m back! A pizza night-in is in order for this Valentine’s Day, and this is just the recipe to make with Charles and my lovely boys (who rarely complain about getting their hands dirty!). Let’s roll up our sleeves and make homemade heart-shaped pizzas together shall we?!
How to Make Homemade Pizza
Resist the urge to call for takeout and trust me – this recipe is worth it! In my recipe here I use flour, salt, yeast and water. Leave yourself plenty of time to make the dough; this one takes about 8 plus hours to rise (I make mine the night before to have for dinner)! I modified my crust recipe from Jim Lahey’s concept of a no knead dough to decrease the rise time and get a slightly less sticky dough OR you can use the pizza crust recipe that I’ve used for years here, it takes about 2 hours! If you have the Fraîche Food Full Hearts Cookbook you can use the recipe on page 201 instead!
How to Make a Pizza Pocket!
As if pizza couldn’t get any better….pizza pockets (aka calzones) are LOVED in my household as a fun dinner, snack and work great in the boys lunches. Skip the store bought bland ones and make them yourself. It’s easier than you think (and far less processed). Here is how I do it!
- Dust your surface with semolina flour before starting (this is best to do on your pizza peel to make it easy to slide into the oven).
- Form a 6″ inch pizza round circular base, with about a 1/3 cup piece of dough (doesn’t have to be perfect!).
- Spread pizza sauce to over half of it leaving the dough exposed along the edges.
- Layer your toppings on top of the sauce; don’t forget the cheese!
- Fold the side without filling overtop to form the pocket. Using your fingers gently press the dough together at the seams.
- Bake the same way you would your pizza – 500 F on a preheated pizza stone ideally until golden brown!
Using Apples on a Pizza
Is this controversial? Is this like pineapples? Either way, I love apples on this pizza! Crisp apples, cheddar and thyme go seamlessly together. I used to eat mountains of Granny Smith apples as a kid, so the taste is nostalgic! I always loved the tartness of them and the fact that they are a sure bet in the crisp and crunch department! I usually use them or Ambrosia in this recipe (or whatever apple tickles your fancy!). There’s not much to it: core and thinly slice the apples (skin on), add to the pizza top, and let the baking do it’s thing.
Hands down, apples and aged cheddar with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves are pure heaven on this pizza! It reminds me of an apple rosemary focaccia bread that I used to splurge on in my university days (I believe it was from Terra Breads), SO GOOD! You don’t have to shape it into a heart, but why not? And who cares if it’s not Valentine’s Day, I think a heart-shaped pizza works for any day of the year.
Toppings for a Homemade Pizza
Don’t let me stop you from exploring other toppings now that you have your homemade pizza dough down! I whipped up a fun little heart pepperoni pizza (Yves vegan pepperoni is a great option) for the boys …which made me MVP since pizza is the way to a little kids heart apparently. Take a look at my Mushroom Thyme Pizza for another good idea, or on a totally different pizza level – this Pull-Apart Pizza Wreath is amazing!
Apple, Cheddar & Thyme Heart-Shaped Pizza
Apple, Cheddar & Thyme Heart-Shaped Pizza
Pizza got your heart? Then you're going to adore this show-stopping recipe! This Apple, Cheddar & Thyme Heart Shaped Pizza is a MUST make. Sweet, savoury, and homemade with love. Gouda works well here too.
For the Pizza Dough
- 3 1/3 cups flour (525 grams) (all purpose or 00 flour)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups water (350 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon yeast
- semolina flour for sprinkling on pizza stone before cooking
For the Toppings
- olive oil
- 2 cups aged white cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 2 apples, cored & finely sliced (granny smith or ambrosia)
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
Miix together the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add the water, stir to combine well, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside for around 18 hours, until it is bubbly and doubled in size.
Once the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 500 F (as high as it will go) and preheat your pizza stone. I highly recommend a pizza stone, BUT you can use a baking sheet if you don't have one.
Divide the dough into around 6 pieces (depending on how many pizzas you want to make). On a well-floured surface, toss each ball of dough to coat it (the dough is quite sticky), and gently start to shape it into a pizza crust, stretching it with your knuckles. You can shape it into a heart at this point (easiest while it is on the counter or pizza peel).
Brush the crust with olive oil, add one layer of the apple slices, top with a handful of the grated cheddar and sprinkle with the thyme leaves.
Remove your pre heated pizza stone from the oven, sprinkle it with about a tablespoon of semolina flour, and gently place your pizza dough on top of the semolina (use a pizza peel to make this easiest).
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the crust is light brown and the cheese is bubbling. Remove from the oven to serve and repeat with the remaining dough and toppings.