Last night, I made a couple pies, one of which was an attempt at a White Deep Dish (spinach & artichoke with an Alfredo sauce) (pic1, back right). Using Alfredo is something I've done on thinner pies without a problem. On the DD, it was verrrrrrrrrry runny (pic2). I know the fresh spinach was a contributing factor, but what I think it mostly came down to was this:Nice, pics, Clive!
1) Deep Dish sauces are chunky. Alfredo is not.
2) I'd prefer to make something from scratch instead of from a jar
I've seen some delicious bechamel-based sauces on the forums, but fear that they too would be too runny. I suppose I could still use tomato chunks, but I'm worried about losing the "white" effect... though if that's what it would take, I'm not totally adverse to it.
Do any of the creative minds on these boards have any ideas for how to reduce the runniness (increase chunkiness) of an alfredo-type sauce?
(pic3) (an extra pic from the night for fun )
Any ingredients that contain a lot of water in them can potentially make your pizza soggy or watery.
When possible, you want to get as much water out of them before you use them.
I've made baby spinach and garlic deep dish pies before, so I'm gonna guess that your main culprit is the spinach.Try pre-cooking the spinach in a pan to cook out most of the water:
In a non-stick pan with a small amount of vegetable oil, regular olive oil (not evoo), and/or butter (add a clove or two of crushed garlic if you like),
cook the spinach down until it wilts and then a few minutes more until it's much smaller than the original giant mound of spinach leaves that you started with.
You can let it cool and refrigerate overnight for next day use, or use it right away.
If you think the white sauce may also be a problem, you might try mixing in a thickening agent into the sauce, like cornstarch or a roux, before adding it to the pie.
Alternately, you can use a smaller amount of fresh spinach, but place it on the top of the pie so the water can evaporate while baking.
re: tomatoes for the white pie -
I haven't tried this, but have you considered using tomatillos or green tomatoes for your white pie? I don't know how that will taste, but I imagine it won't have the sweetness of red tomatoes, so you might need to compensate somehow (maybe with caramelized onions).