Do you ever see a strange ingredient at the grocery store and think, “I wonder what that tastes like?” I do this all the time. During this past month, my local grocery store has had pichuberries on the shelf. I kept passing by them until last week when I decided to just go for it, not knowing what I would be getting myself into. I let the little orange dudes sit in my refrigerator for a few days while I researched what exactly these things were. Everything that came up kept boasting that these are the new superfruit of the future but there weren’t too many recipes or articles that described their use as an ingredient. So I did what any normal person would do – bit into one. It tasted like a tart cherry tomato with a lot more seeds. For cooking, I thought I would take a safe route and use it like a tomato so I made a sauce out of the pichuberries and slathered them on a pizza. Here are the results:
1 cup pichuberries
¾ cup White Thai Ale by Westbrook Brewing
½ tsp hot crushed red pepper
1 chicken breast, seasoned and cooked
10 leaves of basil
3 cups of flour
¼ cup Crisco (vegetable shortening)
2 tsp sugar (one for proofing the yeast and an extra added to the dough)
2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
Start by making the dough so I can rise while you work on the other ingredients. The more time you let it sit, the better. First, proof the yeast to make sure it’s alive. Pour the packet in a bowl with two tablespoons of water and a teaspoon of sugar. If it is all bubbly after 10 minutes, those little guys are alive (yay science). Mix the yeast with the other teaspoon of sugar and the Crisco. Use an electric mixer and slowly add the water – pouring it all in at once will not work, trust me, I tried it. Add the salt and then slowly add the flour until you get a nice doughy texture that isn’t too wet. Form the dough into the shape of a ball and let it rise for 2 hours, until it doubles in size. [Just a heads up, this will make enough dough for two pizzas – I made one pichuberry and one buffalo chicken]. After two hours, you can form the risen dough into two dough balls and let them sit until pizza time.
While the dough is rising, pick all the pichuberries out of their leafy compartments.
Once you have a cup’s worth, give them a good mashing. Pour the pichuberry mash into a pot with the crushed red pepper [add a whole tsp if you like it extra hot] and the beautiful, gingery Westbrook White Thai Ale.
Cook on medium-high heat until almost all of the liquid is gone – around 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and check often to make sure nothing is burning. You can always turn down the heat if you feel it’s necessary.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Form one of the dough balls into a pizza shape and cook for 7 minutes. I do this because I hate when pizzas are cooked on the edges but have a doughy center.
After the crust is half cooked, top it with some olive oil and the pichuberry sauce. Then thrown on some chicken, basil, and shredded cheese on top. Cook for another 8-10 minutes, until the crust is crispy brown. When the cooking is complete – you can chow down and officially say you’ve tried a pichuberry!