the one where i pretend i can cook [recipe: crustless pizza]

Currently one of the questions I get quite often is how married life has been. Coming into the second month, as mushy as it may sound, married life has been nothing but a bliss, and an adventure I look forward to every morning. I’d be lying to say there have not been any trepidations unmet, and every day adjustments to be made (for beginners, my mornings are earlier now!), but it has been a great journey thus far, and in all honesty, I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. If you have been following my blog long enough, you would have noticed one of my biggest shortcomings;– I’m one to quickly proclaim myself as a baker unfortunately lacking in any culinary skills extending beyond frying a sunny-side up, and well, let’s just say that I have heard far too many ‘You can’t let your husband eat cake every day’ remarks to fuel my fears. Fortunately for me though, the constellations have been aligned serendipitously to bestow me with a mister who is not a fan of cakes would have a meal out of anything that remotely has cheese on it, preferably while singing his own oft-heard rendition of ‘Sweet dreams are made of cheese’. And when it perfectly requires anything off the fiery stove, just pass me the apron, and consider me a cook.

When I received Nigella’s latest cookbook, one of the first recipes to catch my attention was her crustless pizza. A warmly-lit photograph of your nondescript pepperoni-and-cheese pizza adorns the accompanying page, yet concurrently intriguing you with its short ingredient list obviously missing the integral ‘y’. A quick finger prod leads you to her description of it being ‘a fast and easy supper on days when you’re too tired to think about what to cook’. Yeast-free, fuss-free and quick; — that’s surely a winner in my books. And it definitely helps that the recipe falls under one of those clear-the-pantry category, where you can pretty much top it with anything you have stashed at the back of your refrigerator, or leftovers from last night’s dinner. But as far as texture goes, the crustless pizza is ‘pizza’ only in the rights of having toppings on a cheesed surface, and nothing more. The smooth watery batter bakes up to a puff of chewy dough with a texture not unlike a Yorkshire pudding or a popover. Technicalities aside, assuming you’re not exactly serving it to pizza purists, Nigella has definitely delivered her promise on this one;– ‘This is’, as she said, ‘comfort: quicktime’. And judging from the number of times the mister wiped clean different variations of this for breakfast/lunch/supper, no one would’ve been the wiser that I’m merely passing off as a faux-cook.

Crustless Pizza
(adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen; serves 2-4)

1 egg
100g plain flour
a pinch of salt
250ml milk
butter, for greasing
100g grated Cheddar cheese
toppings of your choice (eg. pepperoni slices, turkey ham, cherry tomatoes)

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Whisk the egg, flour, salt and milk to make a smooth batter. Stir in half of the grated cheese.
  3. Grease an 8-inch round baking pan/pie dish, and pour the batter into the dish.
  4. Bake for 30mins, then remove the pan from the oven. Add your toppings, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Return to the oven, and bake for another 2-3mins, until the cheese has melted.

26 thoughts on “the one where i pretend i can cook [recipe: crustless pizza]

  1. the mister

    “FAUX COOK”?!!!!

    As a certain demographic of our brethren would say, “Aper jerrrrrrr….” (or the alternative but ever popular, “Whaaaaaaat only…..”)

    Waking up at unearthly hours of the morning to bake yummylicious pizzas (and cook other assorted delish breakfast dishes) has earned this wonderful baker seven gold stars and a permanent, undisputed filing under the ‘can cook’ category.

    You da best, luv! πŸ˜€

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Awwww, only you’d think that πŸ™‚ And like I always say, the waking up at unearthly hours to fix you breakfast will be done for as long as I am able to, so enjoy it for now! πŸ˜›

  2. ilyana

    Ooh I watched Nigella cook this on her show based on “KITCHEN” and I have to say, your version looks so much better! Her ‘crust’ looked a bit thin on television (which is strange since everyone says being on camera makes everything fat lol!)

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Haha! I caught that episode as well, and my only thoughts were ‘That’s definitely not an 8-inch dish!’, which probably explains her thin crust. But I think my version looks very much like a messy campak-everything pizza πŸ˜›

  3. oneordinaryday

    Your pizza sounds delicious, and the pictures are mouthwatering. Btw, I think sweet dreams SHOULD be made of cheese. Too funny!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      oneordinaryday: Haha, thanks sweetz! πŸ™‚

      Cookie: Thanks! You should try it, and tweak it according to your preference. If you prefer a thin, more crispy texture, then bake it in a larger dish. Hope you’ll like it as much as my mister does!

  4. dayah

    I can’t cook either. people tell me the same thing that you can’t let your husband eat cake everyday! my mom keeps saying ‘nanti dah kahwin susah tau!’ hehe.. but I’ll worry about that later πŸ˜› lovely pictures nonetheless!

  5. oreome

    hi there…. just dropping a line… i do frequent your blog and I found it very interesting and awesome at the same time. Trying to learn a thing or two from u.. keep up the good posts =)

  6. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes)

    I don’t cook either, so it’s nice to see recipes like these that I can turn to when there’s nothing to eat at home. I pity the person I eventually marry, I’m going to make him fat with all my baking, and no cooking πŸ˜‰

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Hahaha, I think I’m beginning to feel guilty for fattening up the mister πŸ˜› And hey, I’m sure your future husband’s gonna thank you for your bakes anyway!

  7. shaffy

    well, dearie… we seem to be living in the same galaxy, somewhat. cos i still suck @ cooking. 11 years and two kids later, i still turn to my recipe book to whip up traditional dishes. haha. hopelessly hopeless. i know. i wish my baking alone is enough to fill up these finicky eaters at home. all the best in your newly minted journey as a ‘mrs’ and all the cooking adventures that come with it!!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Thanks, sweetie! And hey, I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that some bakers wish they could cook, but there are a whole lot of cooks out there who wish they could bake too! And somehow the thought made me feel better πŸ˜› Okaylah, it’s still an excuse, no less ~haha.

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      freshandfoodie: I love how Nigella always comes up with easy fuss-free recipes like this one! πŸ™‚

      foods for the soul: Haha! Perhaps I should include a ‘serves one’ instead πŸ˜›

  8. !Legato

    What a wonderful story! Unfortunately, my husband is a ‘pizza purist’… If it’s called pizza and looks like pizza, nothing else will do. He’s got the same thing for sweet potato: he’ll admit that yes, it tastes good but it’s just not potato, so it automatically falls in the reject pile.

    Thanks for sharing!

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