Bacon, Apple and Cider-Caramelized Onion Pizza
This pizza recipe is full of contrasting flavor combinations. The onions and sliced garlic develop a mellow sweetness that's accented by the cider, while the Granny Smith apples add a tart element. The most notable flavor, however, is the sugar-cured, hickory-smoked bacon with an apple-cinnamon rub (check the recipe notes for source information), although any top-quality bacon should do. The cheddar cheese adds a sharp bite, and the mild, smooth-melting Havarti pulls all the flavors together to create a truly mouth-watering pizza.
- 1/2 lb Apple-Cinnamon Bacon or other good quality bacon (see below)
- 2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 3 ounces Havarti cheese, grated
- Pizza dough for one 10 x 15-inch crust (see below)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Fry the bacon in a large pan until thoroughly cooked but not overly crispy. Drain on paper towels, reserving about 1 tablespoon of the drippings for cooking the onions. Cut the bacon into bite sized pieces and set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings over medium heat. Add the onions and stir to coat. Season with about 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, until the onions are softened and starting to develop color.
Add the garlic and the apple cider and continue cooking, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes more, until the cider has evaporated and the onions are golden brown. Stir in the apples and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the apples are soft. Taste the mixture and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Remove from the heat, add the bacon pieces, mix well and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Roll the pizza dough into a 10 x 15-inch rectangle and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes, then re-stretch a bit if necessary. Brush the crust lightly with the vegetable oil and place in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until puffed and slightly crisped on the bottom.
Remove from the oven and spread the onion, apple and bacon mixture over the top to within 1 inch of the edges. Sprinkle evenly with the grated cheddar and Havarti cheeses. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the crust is uniformly browned. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before slicing.
1. If your pizza dough is refrigerated, bring to room temperature before using.
2. Place the Havarti cheese in the freezer for about 20 minutes for easier grating.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
About the bacon:
The bacon we used in this recipe was the Apple-Cinnamon variety of Baby Bubba's Butcher Block Bacon, one of more than a dozen varieties of gourmet bacon available from the bacon store at BaconFreak.com. We were truly impressed with the flavor and texture, so different from supermarket brands that you can't even draw a comparison.
All of Bacon Freak's bacon is hand cut and cured using a method that dates back to the Roman Empire. The process extracts the water from the meat so that it can last 90 days without refrigeration. This was an important factor in Roman times, but today the key benefit is bacon that barely shrinks when cooked and has a wonderful, tender texture. One pound of Bacon Freak bacon yields 14 ounces when cooked.
Their Apple Cinnamon Bacon is hand rubbed with a special blend of flavors and applewood smoked. The rub accents the smoky, delicious bacon taste without being overpowering. We also had the opportunity to try their Vanilla Bourbon variety, a hickory-smoked bacon with wonderful vanilla aromas.
You can check out all of Bacon Freak's gourmet varieties on their website ~ BaconFreak.com
Note: We received a free sample of this product for review ~ click here to read our review policy.
This is an original recipe created & tested by the editors of MyGourmetConnection