Apples were never exactly the plan for stylist Laura Ferrara and her husband, fashion photographer Fabio Chizzola. They originally purchased their historic New York farm house as a weekend retreat—a weekend retreat that just happened to come with 33 acres of gorgeous, storied, and ultimately too-tempting apple trees.
“We didn’t want the history of these trees to die away,” says Ferrara. “We thought we could find someone to take care of them, but that ended up being us.”
Nestled in the shadows of the Catskill Mountains, the revived Westwind Orchard is now an entirely organic operation featuring pick-your-own apples as well as berries, squash and—all of which are fair game when they fire up the pizza oven.
“We wanted to only use things that we grow on the farm,” says Ferrara. “We come up with recipes as we grow things—we use whatever’s around, whatever’s in season.”
Like the orchard itself—where Ferrara’s mother jars sauces by hand, and Chizzola’s can be found whipping up Italian cakes—this fruit-topped pizza is a friends-and-family affair. Starting with Nonna’s secret dough recipe (no, we can’t tell) it was dreamed up under the trees along with friends and restaurateurs Paola and Chicco Nanni, then garnished with flowers from a neighboring farm.
For best results, we recommend adding a couple place settings and making two (or four!) of these sweet-and-savory beauties.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
1 Honeycrisp apple, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon raw brown sugar
1 ball pre-made pizza dough
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
Handful of raspberries or blackberries
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of aniseed
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Edible flowers for garnish
HOW TO MAKE IT…
In a bowl, mix apple, butter and sugar; set aside. Roll out pizza dough with a rolling pin (careful – not too thin!) and spread with ricotta cheese. Add the apple slice mixture, berries, sea salt and aniseed and put in preheated oven. When pizza is ready, drizzle with maple syrup and garnish with flowers.
Note: Oven temperature and cooking time will vary depending on oven and dough used
Photo by Laura Ferrara