Friday, May 20, 2005

Sweet Bacon and Pear Pizza

Sweet Bacon and Pear Pizza (Adapted from BH&G)

4 slices bacon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
cornmeal and all-purpose flour, for dusting
12 or 16 ounces prepared whole-wheat pizza dough (I used our favorite recipe)
1 medium pear, cored and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup chopped green onions
fresh ground black pepper and salt
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup small or torn fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with a pizza stone placed on the lowest rack and another rack placed in the center.

On a baking sheet lined with foil and coated with cooking spray, place bacon strips in a single layer.

In small bowl, stir together brown sugar and chili powder. Generously sprinkle mixture between the bacon slices. Place sheet onto the center rack and bake until browned and crisp, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.

Sprinkle enough cornmeal to lightly cover a pizza peel. On a lightly floured surface, stretch and roll out dough to a rough 12" to 13" circle and transfer to the cornmeal-dusted peel. Slide dough onto the stone and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, toss together sliced pear and lemon juice.

In a medium bowl, stir together cream cheese and green onions - season with fresh ground black pepper and lightly with salt. Spread cream cheese mixture over the top of the crust, leaving a clean 1/2" border around the edge. Chop bacon and sprinkle over the cream cheese. Arrange pear slices on top of the bacon, then sprinkle with the pecans and feta.

Slide pizza back onto the stone and bake until the cheese begins to brown, about 6 to 11 minutes. Remove from the oven and scatter the fresh basil over the top to serve.

Makes about 4 servings.

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