I have cooked calzones with differing results. Sometimes it comes out that the insides of the calzones are too runny, even after cooling.

Some things I have done to ensure a dry, solid center are:

  • Use egg(s)
  • Use cheese
  • Squeeze the ricotta with paper towel

I feel like the last item should not be necessary, that there should be some way to ensure a solid center each time. I'm just not sure what those steps are.

Any advice from those who know?

  • 3
    What are you filling your calzones with? You've told us a few ingredients that you've used but not the complete list of fillings. Have you noticed any specific ingredients that correlate to runnier insides? – Catija Oct 7 '17 at 18:13
  • I rarely add more than ricotta, an egg, a little mozz, a little parmesan, and herbs and spices. Sometimes I will add a little meat or onions. – Jason P Sallinger Oct 7 '17 at 19:51
  • Do you slit the tops to vent? – Catija Oct 7 '17 at 19:52
  • 1
    I do slit the tops. This gives me a thought. I cook them on a stone, preheated as high as the oven will go, about 530 F. I think I will cut more vents and cook at 475 instead. – Jason P Sallinger Oct 7 '17 at 21:26
  • Is the dough cooked inside? If so, then lowering the heat might not be optimal. Do you change suppliers of the cheese? Could this "runniness" come from fat rather than water? – TdeV Oct 8 '17 at 18:03

Cook's Illustrated really has the definitive guide to making calzones which aren't soggy. Since that one requires a subscription, check out Serious Eats recipe, which does not, although it doesn't have as much of the science behind making crisp calzone.

To summarize their points on avoiding water:

  • No eggs
  • Drain the ricotta
  • Par-cook and drain vegetables before using in the filling (e.g. blanch, squeeze out, and blot dry spinach)
  • Add a melty, low-moisture cheese like dry mozzarella or provelone below the ricotta
  • Cut 2-3 slits in the top and make sure they're open all the way

You can shortcut some of the work by simply using much drier ingredients. For example, I've been known to make calzone with ricotta salata, which is dry enough to absorb moisture from other ingredients.

Also, if "as hot as it will go" on your oven is more than 500F/250C, you might turn it down a bit.

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