Will 2023 Be the Year of the Pickle Pizza? This is the question posed by PMQ Pizza Magazine in their February 2023 issue. “Pickle pizza went viral in 2018,” the report states, “and has steadily become a bigger and bigger favorite. This briney pie is most often baked with garlic sauce, topped with mozzarella and dipped in ranch.”
Ann Kim launched (no pun intended) her “Perfect Pickle Pie” at Young Joni in Minneapolis on September 9, 2021 as a special. It eventually made it onto the menu as a regular item after Netflix made it one of the featured pizzas in episode 3 of Chef’s Table: Pizza. This pizza was on the menu at Pizzeria Lola for a while, but is currently only at Young Joni. (Ann owns both of those restaurants, plus two more in Minneapolis.)
There is a video on the Young Joni Instagram of Ann making this pizza, and you can see that she originally made it with the pickles cut as chips, or round disks. That evolved to the way she did it on the Netflix show, where they are sliced lengthwise as pickle planks. Do not buy pickle planks. They are too thick. Ann slices the pickles 3mm thin using a mandoline slicer.
While I try to make these recipes a little simpler for the home cook, I did in fact smoke the onion on a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. (I’m sure Ann smokes hers in the wood-fired pizza oven.) There are stovetop smokers you can buy online if you don’t have a charcoal/wood smoker. On the Weber, I used charcoal and cherry wood and smoked at 225° F for two hours. I large-diced the onion in advance of smoking so the smoke would permeate each piece of onion. I mixed it with salt and pepper, and olive oil before smoking.
Ann’s pizza uses a Neapolitan dough and is made in a wood-fired commercial pizza oven. I use a NY-style dough recipe, and bake it in a regular home oven. Trust me. It comes out great. I do it all by hand, just like Ann.
As I said, I baked this in a conventional home oven. I have a pizza stone on the bottom rack, and a pizza steel on the top rack. The oven gets preheated to 525º F, and then holds for one hour before baking the pizza. (If your oven will go to 550º, do that, and if you have convection, do that too.)
I went for 7 minutes on the stone on the bottom, and then switched to high broil, and moved the pizza to the steel on the top rack for 1.5 minutes. (Keep an eye on it though. It may need more or less time on broil.)
If you only have a stone, just keep it on the bottom rack the whole time. If you only have a steel, keep it on the top rack, and just switch to broil at the end.
The prep time does not include making and fermenting the dough, which is linked in a separate recipe. You can substitute a store-bought dough if you want, but making your own and fermenting it isn’t hard, and yields phenomenal results.
Ann Kim's Perfect Pickle Pie
- 1 Pizza Peel (Wooden)
- 1 Pizza Stone or Pizza Steel
- 1 Mandoline Slicer
- 14 oz Pizza Dough for 14" pie (See dough recipe link in instructions below.) 12 oz for 12" pie) (See dough recipe link in instructions below.)
- ½ cup Whole-Milk, Low-Moisture Mozzarella Freshly Shredded (See notes)
- ½ cup Fontina Cheese Freshly Shredded
- 1 tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 3-4 Mt. Olive Hot 'N' Spicy Kosher Dills Sliced 3mm thin on a mandoline slicer. Place on paper towels to dry. Put paper towels on top and press lightly to dry the top side.
- ¼ White Onion Large diced, salt & peppered, mixed with olive oil and smoked. (I smoked mine on a Weber Smokey Mountain at 225°F for two hours with charcoal and cherry wood.)
- Ranch Dressing
- Kettle Chips
- Fresh Dill
Preheat Conventional Home Oven
- I baked this in a conventional home oven. I have a pizza stone on the bottom rack, and a pizza steel on the top rack. The oven gets preheated to 525º F, and then holds for one hour before baking the pizza. (If your oven will go to 550º, do that.)
Pizza Dough Base
- See my Pizza Dough Recipe: https://pizzaismylife.com/pizza-dough-recipes/easy-ny-style-pizza-dough-recipe/
- See my How-To on Shaping the Dough: https://pizzaismylife.com/pizza-dough-recipes/how-to-form-the-pizza-round/
Topping the Pizza (Pre-Bake)
- Mix the two shredded cheeses together, then sprinkle them around the dough base.
- Sprinkle red pepper flakes evenly.
- When slicing the pickles, dry them with paper towels.
- Add pickles to the pizza to cover as much area as possible turning them different ways as needed for coverage.
- Place smoked onions on top of pickles.
Baking the Pizza
- Bake at 525° F 7-8 minutes for 14", or 6-7 minutes for a 12" pizza
Topping the Pizza (Post-Bake)
- Slice the pizza first
- Drizzle Ranch
- Crumble potato chips in your hands and drop them onto the pizza.
- Place fresh dill so 2-3 pieces are on each slice.