Pie in the Sky

Boing Boing, Gothamist Food, and SliceNY are all linking to the results of pizza-obsessive Jeff Varasano’s yearlong attempt to reverse-engineer a perfect NYC-Neapolitan pizza. And besides his recipe, he also lists his top favorite pizzerias on the East Coast.

The photos alone will make any pie hound drool. And even amateur home cooks, if they’re dedicated enough, can follow Varasano’s tried-and-tested techniques to make a better pie.

The one must-have, though, is an oven that’s hot, hot, hot. As in 800 degrees hot, way hotter than the usual 500 degrees of most home ovens. This is no easy task—remember the scene in Jeffrey Steingarten’s book The Man Who Ate Everything where he melts the paint (and the plastic parts) off his outdoor grill by trying to jack it up to proper pizza temperature? But Varasano has come up with his own don’t-call-the-lawyers method for circumventing the normal oven’s timid temperature controls.

Is it safe? Probably not. Does it work? Well, pix don’t lie …