Bring a taste of the trattoria home with this gourmet Fig Pizza! Layered with juicy, fresh figs, balsamic-caramelized onions, prosciutto, and two Italian cheeses, this rustic, easy-to-prep pizza makes a beautiful presentation.
True story: I was on a date the first time I had this pizza. I was in my 20’s, and we’d gone to a trattoria downtown on a crisp fall evening. One of the specials that night was Fig Pizza. As soon as I spotted it, there was no question about what I was ordering.
The gentleman I was dining with scrunched up his face when I expressed my excitement, looked at me like I’d suddenly sprouted a second head, and said, “Figs? On pizza? For dinner? But why?”
I knew instantly that we didn’t stand a chance. (kidding/not kidding)
I’m someone who does cartwheels for fresh figs. The season is way too short, and I’ll eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and any snack possible while I can get my hands on them.
Figs pair so beautifully with salty and savory flavors, like cheese and prosciutto, so they’re prime for topping a gourmet pizza. As I ate dinner that night, I took mental notes so I could re-create the pizza at home.
As I suspected, the date didn’t endure, but this pizza has been on my fall menu for over a decade. True love!
What You’ll Need to Make Your Pizza
- Pizza dough. Either make your own with my Basic Pizza Dough recipe, or pick up your favorite ready-t0-bake dough at the grocery store. (Full disclosure: the photos in this post were made with store bought. The day I bought my figs, they were ready to use right now and there weren’t enough hours left in the day to proof my own.)
- Fresh figs. Any of your favorite varieties will work here. I used Black Mission. (Want to brush up on the types of figs available at the market? Check out Guide to Common Varieties and Types of Figs from the Spruce Eats.)
- Fontina. The mild, buttery flavor and creamy texture of this Italian cow’s milk cheese creates a great base for the sweet and salty ingredients on this pizza. Buy a wedge and shred your own for the best results.
- Gorgonzola. This salty, nutty Italian blue cheese brings a piquant flavor to the pizza party that is so good with the sweet figs.
- Prosciutto. Thinly-sliced, cured Italian ham adds richness and a deep, salty flavor.
- Balsamic-caramelized onions. Sweet, rich, and a little bit tangy. Follow the recipe in my Caramelized Onions tutorial, and deglaze the pan with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. (Want to play up the fig flavor? Use a fig balsamic if you have one in the pantry!)
- Baby arugula. A small handful sprinkled over the pizza after it bakes adds freshness to contrast the rich flavors, and a peppery bite.
- Balsamic drizzle. Optional but recommended. It only takes a few minutes to reduce balsamic vinegar on the stove to a thick drizzle. A light drizzle is the perfect tangy “pop” to finish the pizza.
Assembling a Fresh Fig Pizza
Start by stretching your dough into a 12- to 13-inch circle. I like a nice thin crust, but still thick enough to stand up to the moisture content in the toppings. (Ripe figs are juicy!)
If you’re going to bake the pizza on a stone, transfer the circle to a cornmeal-dusted pizza paddle. If you’re using a pizza pan, lightly oil the pan and sprinkle it with cornmeal.
Why a dusting of cornmeal? It helps with crisping the bottom of the crust and minimizes sticking. If you look at the underside of many pizzeria slices, you’ll see the little specks of cornmeal there!
Brush the top of the dough with a little bit of olive oil to help it develop a beautiful color as it bakes, then, start layering your toppings.
Unlike a New York-style pizza, where I create distinct layers of sauce, cheese, and toppings, I like to have more overlap with this pizza. It’s sauceless, so I begin with a smattering of some of the caramelized onions for a base.
Then, I start alternating, tucking, and layering the rest of the ingredients. I like to place some of the torn prosciutto pieces under the cheeses and figs so they stay soft. I lay other pieces on top, so they can crisp up and create a nice contrast of texture.
Same goes for the figs. Those placed under the cheeses will take on a soft, jammy texture. Those more exposed to the heat will become a bit caramelized.
There’s really no “wrong” way to assemble this pizza. Just leave about a 1/2-inch border around the edge so you get a nice outer crust and the cheese doesn’t bubble onto your pizza stone or pan.
Then, bake at 475 degrees F until crisp, bubbly, and golden. This will take anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes, depending on whether you’re using a pre-heated pizza stone or a pizza pan. (Pizzas baked on a hot stone will take less time than a pan.)
Serving the Pizza
When the pizza comes out of the oven, let it rest for a minute or two so the oils in the cheese and the fig juices can settle. Then, sprinkle with a handful of baby arugula leaves.
The residual heat will start to wilt the arugula, so you’ll want to serve the pizza shortly after you’ve added it. Drizzle a little bit of the balsamic reduction over the top of the pizza, finish the whole thing with a few grinds of fresh black pepper, cut into slices, and serve.
Depending on whether you’ve used a mild or piquant gorgonzola, you can pair this pizza with a few different wines. Especially with younger cheeses, I always love a glass of something bubbly, like Prosecco or Brut Rosé. A dry Riesling is also lovely.
Rosé wine isn’t just for summer! Check out the bottles guest writer and sommelier, Hugh Preece, recommends for cold weather months here.
Get Figgy with It! More Recipes for Fig Season
- Stuffed Figs with Cambozola, Walnuts, and Honey
- Fig Salad with Goat Cheese and Baby Arugula
- Baked Brie Bites with Figs and Prosciutto
- 1/2 pound ball of pizza dough stretched to a 12-13 inch circle (1/2 of of my basic recipe, linked)
- cornmeal , for dusting the pizza paddle or baking sheet
- olive oil
- 1/2 cup balsamic caramelized onions (1/2 of a recipe, deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar)
- 4 ounce shredded Fontina
- 1-1/2 ounce crumbled Gorgonzola
- 5-6 fresh figs , sliced
- 2-3 slices Prosciutto di Parma , torn into pieces
- 1/4 cup baby arugula
- freshly-cracked black pepper
- balsamic reduction (optional, see notes for instructions)
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. If you have a pizza stone, preheat it with the oven.
- Place dough on a cornmeal-dusted pizza paddle (if you're using a baking stone), or a lightly-oiled and cornmeal-dusted baking pan.
- Lightly brush dough with olive oil. Layer with onions, Fontina, Gorgonzola, figs, and prosciutto.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake either directly on the stone or the pan for 8-15 mins (pan will take longer than stone), until the crust is golden and crisp, the cheeses are melted, and the figs are jammy.
- Remove the pizza from the oven, let rest for a minute or two, and sprinkle with the baby arugula leaves. Season with a few grinds of black pepper. If desired, drizzle with balsamic reduction. Slice and serve.