Volunteers, hungry after a long day of good work, tucking into Yale Farm pizza. The dough is handmade by interns on-site, topped with Farm-fresh ingredients and cooked up quick in our blazing hot wood-fired oven. We aren’t serving this week, as Yale is on fall break, but check back in next Friday, 11/2, for pizza, cider and live music at 3pm as part of our annual Harvest Festival!
Classes started yesterday, which means that tomorrow the YSFP will welcome the new school year with our first pizza workday of the season. Come by between 1:00 and 5:00 pm to get your hands dirty helping us out with the harvest, and stick around for pizza at 5:00— we make the dough ourselves, top it with the fruits of your labor in the garden and cook it to crusty perfection in our wood-fired oven. It’s definitely in contention for the best slice in the city (in fact, some would say there’s no competing with ours), so if you consider yourself a pizza completeist— or even if you’re just curious— stop by and check it out!
YSFP Clam Pizza
Forget New York’s splintery, cracker-thin crusts and Chicago’s doughy deep dish; New Haven’s signature apizza splits the difference between the two, producing slender, crusty slices that give way to a sweet, springy interior. There’s plenty of lore around the city’s oldest pizzerias (Frank Sinatra and Ronald Reagan are famed fans), but that’s never stopped us at the YSFP from trying our hand at the city’s most iconic dish— and there are many who would argue that ours best the classics.
The trick of a New Haven-style apizza is to form a thin crust and cook it quickly at a high temperature, allowing for crisp char on the outside and a little lightness within. Pepe’s and Sally’s use coal, but the Farm burns hardwood logs in our oven; we harvest them from the Yale Meyers Forest, an hour outside of New Haven. We also make our own dough, adding in a little whole wheat flour for wholesomeness and plenty of white to keep it from getting too heavy.
We usually keep our toppings vegetarian and stick to what we can grow ourselves, but this week we had fresh clams from the state’s first Community Supported Fishery program and it seemed only fitting to try the most iconic pie of them all: Frank Pepe’s brainchild, the white clam pizza. Above are some photographs of the process, which, from lighting the oven and starting dough until we had pizza ready to eat, took just about three hours.
The photographs are lovely, but they don’t do the pizza justice— it was insanely delicious, a simple crust with preserved lemon pesto and oven-roasted clams, intensely salty and just sweet enough. We also had pies topped with mozarella and arugula, ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms, and a dessert version that involved apricot jam and currants.
If you’re in town, we’ll be making pizza again this Friday (though sadly sans seafood) to serve as lunch to volunteers during our open work hours— so come by to get your hands dirty, and stick around to sample a slice!