This past weekend, the beautiful weather on Sunday forced us to jump in the car and go for a West Texas Sunday drive, only we didn’t get too far this time. We made it as far as Marfa, just about 20 miles from home.
It was almost 3 p.m. when my husband asked if I wanted to go eat out somewhere, and then suggested pizza. A quick call to Saarin at Pizza Foundation to place our order, and we were free to roam for an hour. Pizza Foundation in Marfa always hits the spot.
What makes a great pizza? I personally have several criteria for what makes a great pizza, and I’m pretty picky when it comes down to the basis of a perfect pizza pie.
It all starts with the dough. And it has to be made from scratch. For me, once cooked, the crust needs to be tender yet crisp – and not too thick. It needs a nice bit of char when you lift the pizza to peek underneath (often referred to as looking “under the skirt”).
The crust needs to be able to hold the pizza toppings without collapsing. I need a delicious, bright tomato sauce, creamy cheese, and just the right amount of toppings to get a taste of sausage or whatever I choose for a topping, in just about every bite.
Owners Saarin Keck and Ronnie O’Donnell met back in 1998 when they were just college kids, both working for some pretty well-known pizza restaurants in the Providence, Rhode Island area.
Saarin and Ronnie decided that they’d like to open their own pizza restaurant and work for themselves, so they moved down to far West Texas and gave it a go. Pizza Foundation opened in March of 2003 and has been cranking out great pizzas ever since.
After many years at their original location, the new Pizza Foundation was built to Saarin and Ronnie’s specs. The big blue metal building at 305 S. Spring Street in Marfa is in a constant state of continuous improvement – a concept I truly appreciate.
They’ve added an assortment of ice cream to their offerings, so in addition to their extensive beer and wine menu, and tiramisu, you can enjoy ice cream treats with your pizza. Pizza and ice cream – two of my favorite food groups. If they have tiramisu, be sure to save room for it.
Pizzas are 18 inches and start, with sauce and cheese for $17.07. Then, add veggies for $1.06 each (or 86-cents for ½ the pizza) and meats, pineapple, fresh basil and fancy cheeses for $2.37 each (or $1.58 for ½ the pizza). Depending on the weight of the toppings, they suggest no more than three or four toppings, that way it doesn’t collapse when you pick it up. But I suppose you can always ask for a knife and fork to eat your pizza.
We’ve eaten Pizza Foundation’s pies many times since we moved to Fort Davis, and know the trick is to order ahead. We ordered ahead, and visited with Saarin in the packed restaurant while we waited for our delicious sausage and mushroom pizza. We took our pizza to a nearby park for a pizza picnic on a sunny, mild winter day in Marfa.
Call ahead at (432)729-3377. You can specify the time you want to pick up your pizza, too. Check them out at pizzafoundation.com or find them on Facebook. They offer a 5% cash/local check discount, too. Pizza Foundation is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. until about 9 p.m. Plan ahead – you won’t regret it.
6 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1-1/4 cup mascarpone cheese – room temperature
1 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 – 7 oz. packages Italian Lady fingers
1 cup cold espresso or strong coffee
1/2 cup coffee flavored Liqueur optional
1 ounce cocoa, for dusting
Combine egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler, over boiling water. Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and whip yolks until thick and lemon-colored.
Add Mascarpone* to whipped yolks, beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks.
Gently fold the whipped cream in the mascarpone mixture and set aside. The mascarpone does not have to be at room temperature, but it will help it mix in easier if it is. Take it out of the refrigerator as you gather ingredients to make the recipe.
Mix the cold espresso with the coffee liquor, and dip the lady fingers into the mixture just long enough to get them wet, do not soak them.
Arrange the lady fingers in the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish (or container similarly sized)
Spoon half the mascarpone cream filling over the lady fingers.
Repeat process with another layer of lady fingers
Add another layer of tiramisu cream. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
Dust with cocoa before serving.
*Note: If you can’t find mascarpone cheese, you can make it: 8 ounces full fat cream cheese, 1/4 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter… just whip until it’s just blended.
Printed with permission of the Alpine Avalanche