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White Pizza with Apple, Bacon, and Sage

Monday, January 27, 2014

Recipe adapted from Whitney Miller's Modern Hospitality.  [Recipe makes two 12-inch pizzas].

Time for another recipe update.  Since the first time this pizza was posted, I've changed up the crust recipe, added more details on pizza-making in general, as well as altered the amounts of ingredients used for the toppings.  With all these changes, I think we really have a keeper.  Combine a chewy and flavorful crust with a half-pound of bacon, an addictive garlic béchamel sauce, tart apples, fresh herbs, and just the right combination of mozzarella and Parmesan, and you end up with my favorite pizza to date.

INGREDIENTS:

Pizza dough

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 pound thick cut bacon, diced
1 Granny Smith apple, diced small
8 fresh sage leaves, chiffonaded
2 cups mozzarella, freshly grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

DIRECTIONS:

Two days in advance, prepare the pizza dough and let rest in the refrigerator.

On the day of, follow the previous directions for par-baking your crusts.  Cool on wire cooling racks and reserve.

Begin by cooking the diced bacon in a large sauce pan until crisp.  Drain off the grease and transfer the bacon to a stack of paper towels with a slotted spoon.  Reserve.

For the sauce, melt the butter and garlic over medium heat.  Once any bubbles have dissipated and the garlic is fragrant, whisk in the flour.  After one minute, add 1/4 cup of the cream and all of the salt, and whisk.  Once any lumps are whisked out, add an additional 1/4 cup of cream and whisk.  Add the remaining cream, turn the heat to medium-high, and continue whisking.  Once the sauce begins bubbling and thickening, remove from heat and whisk in the grated Parmesan.  [Side note:  These are the basic steps and ingredients used in a béchamel sauce.  Add more cream and you have an alfredo sauce.  Or double the amount of Parmesan cheese for a perfect soft pretzel dipping sauce].
Assemble the pizzas starting with the cream sauce, followed by the bacon, apple, sage, mozzarella, and Parmesan.  Finish baking until the crust and cheese are browned to your liking, roughly 5 additional minutes.  Transfer to wire cooling racks.  Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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