Pizza Sauce

Thin crust pizzas usually call for a more delicate sauce than thick crust — and you only use a little bit. Here are versions for both an uncoooked version, for thin crusts, and a more hearty version for your thicker crusts. Freeze leftover sauce in muffin tins, then transfer to a zip-lock bag. Usually use 1/4 cup per pizza.

UNCOOKED (for thin crust)

  • 28 oz whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 6 ~ 8 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, plus more to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cut each tomato in half, then drain, reserving sauce for another use
  2. Add all other ingredients and blend

COOKED (for thick crust)

  • 28 oz San Marzano whole tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt, pepper & red pepper flakes to taste
  1. Cut each tomato in half, then drain, reserving sauce
  2. Saute onions and sugar in oil until golden brown.
  3. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.
  4. Add tomatoes and spices and cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Blend, adding reserved sauce if necessary
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Candied Citrus Peel

Some recipes call for carefully scraping away all the pith. I prefer the thicker peels, with a more pronounced bitter-sweet tang.

  • Citrus fruit
  • Sugar
  • Water
  1. Cut ends off fruit, then slice into quarters (or eighths if very large)
  2. Cut peel off, trimming away some of the pith, if very thick, then cut into strips
  3. Put peels in a pan, cover with water, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain and repeat.
  4. Return peels to the pot, and add equal amounts water and sugar to generously cover the peels. Simmer about 30 minutes, until white part is translucent.
  5. Drain, then place on a rack to cool.
  6. Shake in a bag full of sugar to dust.

Homemade Cream Cheese

Homemade cream cheese is so much better than store bought. Definitely worth making! You can use all whole milk, or any combination of cream/ half-and-half/whole milk you prefer. It will get sturdier as it cools.

  • 8 cups half-and-half (not UHP)
  • 2.5 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • large colander
  • cheese cloth, or tea towel
  1. Put half-and-half in a large pot
  2. Heat to a rolling simmer stirring all the while
  3. Lower heat, then add the vinegar. Small curds will start forming.
  4. Strain the contents of the pan through a colander lined with cheesecloth, or a linen tea towel.
  5. Let drain, and when it’s getting pretty dry, lift it all out, twist the top and squeeze out the rest.
  6. Add salt, and beat til smooth.

Jam & Marmalades

It’s very easy to make homemade jam, without having to sterilize jars or use pectin. I prefer using frozen fruit, and making just 1 batch at a time.

Jam: For every 2 cups of frozen fruit, add 2 cups sugar and 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Boil until it reaches a temperature of 220 degrees.

Marmalade: 1 cup orange peel (pith removed, sliced), 1 cup orange pulp, 1.5 cups water, 1.5 cups sugar. Simmer the peel and pulp for 5 minutes. Chill overnight. Add sugar and cook an hour. Measure, then add equal amount of sugar and cook to 220 degrees.