Deep-Dish Gluten-Free Pizza Florentine Alfredo

 

Description

For those who want to live forever and achieve heaven on earth, God created all the ingredients for Pizza Florentine Alfredo. Now, to make your life complete, I shall teach you how to combine them to create a masterpiece you will never forget. As with any pizza, it has a crust, sauce, cheese, and toppings. This particular recipe will provide ingredients and instructions for gluten-free crusts, because the author of the recipe cannot eat any other kind. The primary toppings of this pizza are fresh baby spinach leaves, slivered or sliced almonds, and bacon because that’s what God intended those ingredients for is to be combined on a pizza.

This recipe is made in a 14” non-stick deep-dish pizza pan. If your pan is smaller, you might consider cutting the recipe. If your pan is larger, how do you fit it into your kitchen cabinets?

This should provide you with about fourteen servings, and by servings, I mean the full dinner meal, unless you are a teenager or a glutton. Just look at those ingredients and divide by fourteen. One slice is a big meal.

Crust

Alternative 1

Ingredients

½ stick butter
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
3 cups coarsely crushed blue corn chips
½ cup grits (Hominy, corn, blue corn, other, or a combination)
Italian herbs

Instructions

Sprinkle a bit of the Italian herbs across the pan. If you do not have a non-stick pan, you might want to oil it up first, and then sprinkle.

In a large pot, heat the butter on low until it melts. Add water and chicken broth and bring to a boil. (If water doesn’t boil on your burners on low, you might consider adjusting the heat.) Slowly stir in corn chips and grits. Add a teaspoon of Italian herbs. Cook down slowly stirring about every three minutes and keeping mostly covered until the mixture is thick and sticky. When you pour it into the pan, you should be able to shape it so that it has sides to hold in the pizza ingredients. It might well take half an hour to 45 minutes to cook it down.

When it is thick and sticky, pour it into the pan and spread it outward and up the sides with a spoon to try to give at least minimal sides around the edge of the pizza.

Stick the pan in the refrigerator to help the crust congeal even more.

Notes

This is the crust that I actually used for this pizza. Why am I using crushed corn chips? Because one gets all of these pieces down in the bottom of the bag, and rather than trying to eat them that way, I just crush them further and collect them together as I go through bags of corn chips. After some number of bags, I have plenty of corn chip meal.

Why do I eat so many corn chips? It’s the only grain I can eat without allergic or celiac issues. And a guy can only eat so many prunes for his fiber.

The grits help the crust set better than the corn chips alone.

Corn is not a strong grain, since it has no gluten, so it will not be easy to make sides, and they will want to fall down. That is alright if they slump, but if they fall as fast as you attempt to put them up there, you have not cooked it down enough.

Alternative 2

Ingredients

1 stick butter
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
2 cups grits (Hominy, corn, blue corn, other, or a combination)
1 t salt
Italian herbs

Instructions

Sprinkle a bit of the Italian herbs across the pan. If you do not have a non-stick pan, you might want to oil it up first, and then sprinkle.

In a large pot, heat the butter on low until it melts. Add water and chicken broth and bring to a boil. (If water doesn’t boil on your burners on low, you might consider adjusting the heat.) Slowly stir in grits and salt. Add a teaspoon of Italian herbs. Cook down slowly stirring about every three minutes and keeping mostly covered until the mixture is thick and sticky. When you pour it into the pan, you should be able to shape it so that it has sides to hold in the pizza ingredients. It usually takes between 18 minutes to half an hour to cook it down.

When it is thick and sticky, pour it into the pan and spread it outward and up the sides with a spoon to try to give at least minimal sides around the edge of the pizza.

Stick the pan in the refrigerator to help the crust congeal even more.

Notes

Why does this use more butter than alternative 1? Because corn chips are fried in oil and have high fat content already. Same with the salt. You don’t need to add salt to corn chips that come presalted.

Corn is not a strong grain, since it has no gluten, so it will not be easy to make sides, and they will want to fall down. That is alright if they slump, but if they fall as fast as you attempt to put them up there, you have not cooked it down enough.

This crust is basically a form of polenta.

Alternative 3

Make any deep-dish pizza crust using your favorite recipe, even if it is not gluten-free and isn’t made with chicken broth, although, you’ll be missing out on one of the best parts of the overall taste combination.

Sauce

Ingredients

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 T butter
1-¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup water
Bacon grease (¼ cup? See Notes.)
1 cup slivered almonds

Instructions

Put all ingredients into blender and blend, baby, blend, until the mixture is liquefied. There might be small pieces of almonds still in it, and that is alright, but there should not be whole slivered almonds or large shreds of cheese left. The sauce also should be somewhat thick, almost like frosting for a cake.

Notes

If you use grated Parmesan, you will need to use slightly less, since grated gives less air space than shredded, but about five ounces.

How much bacon grease? I didn’t measure. I just poured the grease from baking the bacon in the toppings section into the blender.

Yeah, yeah, it’s not really Alfredo sauce, which is butter and Parmesan, but how long of a title do you want for this thing?

Toppings

Ingredients

1 bag baby spinach leaves (See notes.)
6 slices cooked thick-cut bacon (about 8 ounces)
1 cup slivered almonds
Shredded cheeses (Swiss, Monterrey Jack, Mozzarella) See notes.

Instructions

Make the crust first, as above.

Cook the bacon. I tend to bake it at 400º F for about twenty minutes. You may prefer frying. Reserve the grease for making the sauce, as mentioned above.

Make the sauce, as detailed above.

After cooking the bacon and making the sauce, the crust should have had enough time to fully congeal in the refrigerator. So, pull the crust and pan out of the fridge and put it wherever you’re going to build this masterpiece.

Wash the spinach leaves. Pat them dry.

Add the toppings to the pizza. Crumble two slices of bacon and put them on the crust. Put down about half the spinach. Sprinkle on about half the almonds. Layer on three or four cups of grated cheese. Repeat with another layer of bacon, spinach, almonds, and cheese. Crumble on last two slices of bacon. You may consider patting it all down in place, especially if it is trying to escape your deep-dish pizza pan. Spread sauce over the pizza.

Bake at 350º F for twenty minutes.

Pull it out of oven. Spread about four cups of grated cheese on the top. (See notes.)

Bake at 300º F for twenty-five minutes.

Notes

How big a bag of baby spinach leaves? I have no idea. It might have weighed eight ounces. It was about ten inches high, eight inches wide, and two or three inches thick. I just used the whole bag.

How much of what sort of cheese should you use? As you can add up, the sauce uses about 1-¼ cup Parmesan and the rest is about ten to twelve cups in total. Because this pizza is a bit more delicate in flavor than some, I used Swiss, Monterrey Jack, and Mozzarella cheeses. They all have more delicate taste to allow the other flavors, such as spinach, bacon, and almond to come through.

Why cook it, pull it out, add more cheese, and continue cooking? My experience is that the spinach reduces significantly in volume as it is cooked. If you try putting on the last cheese before putting it in to bake for awhile, your pan is probably not big enough. But, if you bake it for awhile first, the extra cheese fits just fine. Besides which, the sauce may start to brown a bit, giving a sort of top crust. When you then add more cheese on top, you get a layered top crust that is browned. This is good.

You might want to consider some sort of cookie sheet-like pan under the pizza pan to catch any overflow if you have stacked the pizza a bit too high.

Other General Notes

Cutting: I generally cut the pizza into sixteen parts by using four slices in each direction. This gives twelve slices of roughly equal size (3-½” x 3-½”), plus four “corner” pieces that are about half the size of the others. If you can manage to cut it into fourteen wedge-sliced pieces, good on ya, but remember that the gluten-free crust is not very strong structurally. It will not hold the slice together very well for picking up and eating as wedge slices are usually eaten. Any way you slice it, this is a knife-and-fork pizza.

Reheating: If there are leftovers, I usually take a slice and put it into an oven-safe baking dish and cook it at 300º F for 36 minutes. This can be done with a toaster oven for one slice, or a full oven for multiple, each in their own baking dish.

Complaints or Comments: If you’re a food wussy who thinks pizza can only be made one way and with a limited number of ingredients that do not include spinach or almonds, pound sand, girl scout. If you have other comments or questions, I would be happy to address them below.

There are 62 comments.

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  1. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    This is just stupendously mouthwatering, and those are words seldom written in the solemn, thoughtful precincts of one of America’s finest socio-political current events commentary websites. Thanks for the facts, but even more for the witty description. 

    With Arahant describing everything out there that’s edible, and @hankrhody describing everything out there that’s poisonous, I’d say we have the physical world covered. 

    • #1
  2. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    What fresh hell is this?  Lol

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    What fresh hell is this? Lol

    Just move along. Nothing to see here.

    • #3
  4. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    If you have recipes to share or want to be linked to the most interesting, we have a group for that:

    http://ricochet.com/groups/you-will-need/

    • #4
  5. Simon Templar Inactive
    Simon Templar
    @SimonTemplar

    No oven in the safe-house so alas I won’t be trying this anytime soon, but your recipe and comments explaining this & that (How big a bag of baby spinach leaves? I have no idea.) did give me funny.  

    Ricochet OP of the month!  One thumb up.

    • #5
  6. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    I’m glad it gave you a laugh.

    • #6
  7. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    The crust scares me, but the innards sound lovely.  Must print this out and try sometime.  Unfortunately, Mr. She suffers from a dairy allergy (to the protein, not the lactose)  so it may have to wait till I throw a Ricochet open house at Chez She, otherwise, woe is me,  I will be forced to eat the whole thing myself . . . 

    (I was making my own soy milk, and inventing non-dairy cheesecakes and fondues all the way back in the 1980’s. Oh, I have recipes . . . ) 🤮

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    She (View Comment):
    The crust scares me, but the innards sound lovely.

    Well, that sounds like an alternative 3. You can also go with a much smaller version, say a typical 6″ or 8″ round cake pan. For the 6″ pan, cut the recipe to about a fifth or sixth. For an 8″ pan, cut it to one-third the amounts.

    • #8
  9. livingthenonScienceFictionlife Inactive
    livingthenonScienceFictionlife
    @livingthehighlife

    • #9
  10. livingthenonScienceFictionlife Inactive
    livingthenonScienceFictionlife
    @livingthehighlife

    Arahant: 1 cup slivered almonds

    • #10
  11. livingthenonScienceFictionlife Inactive
    livingthenonScienceFictionlife
    @livingthehighlife

    Arahant: 6 slices cooked thick-cut bacon (about 8 ounces)
    1 cup slivered almonds

    • #11
  12. Nanda Pajama-Tantrum Member
    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum
    @

    Yummy, ‘Hant…Thank you!

    • #12
  13. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    I would like to point out that this concoction is NOT pizza. 

    • #13
  14. Nanda Pajama-Tantrum Member
    Nanda Pajama-Tantrum
    @

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    I would like to point out that this concoction is NOT pizza.

    However, it may well be a focaccia and bacon is absolution for all perceived gastronomic sins, CTV. Just sayin’.

    • #14
  15. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    Alternatives 1-3 = not pizza

    • #15
  16. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    @arahant I think it was extremely nice of you to write out this recipe for the members of Ricochet. It was very generous of you. 

    If people are looking for more resources, King Arthur Flour has produced some excellent research and information on gluten-free baking. 

    • #16
  17. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    You can try glutinous/sweet rice flour. Despite the name, glutinous rice flour is gluten-free. And it’s not sweet either. 

    • #17
  18. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    I would like to point out that this concoction is NOT pizza.

    Prove it.

    • #18
  19. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    LC (View Comment):

    You can try glutinous/sweet rice flour. Despite the name, glutinous rice flour is gluten-free. And it’s not sweet either.

    You can try it. I’m allergic to rice. As I said above, in my case, the only grain I don’t react to is corn/maize.

    • #19
  20. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    MarciN (View Comment):
    If people are looking for more resources, King Arthur Flour has produced some excellent research and information on gluten-free baking. 

    Again, if one is merely celiac, those rice flours will be fine. Same way with quinoa in place of pasta and many other adjustments that people make.

    One can also make a thin pizza crust from cheese, but it does not replace a thick-crust pizza.

    • #20
  21. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    LC (View Comment):

    Alternatives 1-3 = not pizza

    Considering those are crust alternatives, and the third is to use whatever pizza crust recipe one wants, I do not see why not.

    • #21
  22. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Arahant (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):

    Alternatives 1-3 = not pizza

    Considering those are crust alternatives, and the third is to use whatever pizza crust recipe one wants, I do not see why not.

    Because of Antonin Scalia —

    He said all deep-dish pizza (no matter how gluteny) fails to be pizza, and should be classified as some sort of pie. 

    • #22
  23. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):

    Alternatives 1-3 = not pizza

    Considering those are crust alternatives, and the third is to use whatever pizza crust recipe one wants, I do not see why not.

    Because of Antonin Scalia —

    He said all deep-dish pizza (no matter how gluteny) fails to be pizza, and should be classified as some sort of pie.

    Cheese casserole.

    • #23
  24. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Many years ago when our kids were little, my husband spent six weeks in Chicago in a training program for the company he was working for. When he got home, he called the kids and me into our bedroom because he had a “present” for us. He opened his suitcase, and he lifted out a deep dish pizza and Mrs. Fields’ chocolate chip cookies. Too funny. Needless to say, he loved the food in Chicago. :-) 

    • #24
  25. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    MarciN (View Comment):
    He opened his suitcase, and he lifted out a deep dish pizza and Mrs. Fields’ chocolate chip cookies.

    Can’t imagine that traveled all that well.

    • #25
  26. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Arahant (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    He opened his suitcase, and he lifted out a deep dish pizza and Mrs. Fields’ chocolate chip cookies.

    Can’t imagine that traveled all that well.

    The pizza was a mess. What on earth was he thinking? I don’t know. :-) He just wanted us to enjoy it with him. We still laugh about it. 

    But the cookies made the trip, although the chocolate was a bit melted. They were amazing. Through the 1980s, when Mrs. Fields started out, the cookies were made with real butter. They were so good.  

    • #26
  27. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Through the 1980s, when Mrs. Fields started out, the cookies were made with real butter. They were so good.

    Yes, I remember.

    • #27
  28. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Creativity by necessity is highly commendable.  Much easier to avoid bacon (me) than to avoid glutton or protein or lactose.

    And as far as I’m concerned, it’s not Italian (or Greek) unless there’s spinach involved. Though I usually use it to make pasta.

    • #28
  29. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Arahant (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Through the 1980s, when Mrs. Fields started out, the cookies were made with real butter. They were so good.

    Yes, I remember.

    Then they got some highly paid nutritionist involved and butter was history.

    • #29
  30. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Arahant, what’s up with you and pizza?  Yes, the things are tasty and good looking, but your obsession goes beyond that to the kinky.

    Rein it in. 

    • #30

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