Flour dusts the floor, laughter fills the air, tomatoes stain white aprons, and music shouts through the speakers—it’s pizza night at our house! We all love pizza night because it’s simply fun; and how can you not enjoy spending time together as a family, listening to music, and creating something you can eat? That’s a win-win in my book.
I didn’t grow up cooking with my family. It just wasn’t something that we did. When talking with my friends about the subject, I found it wasn’t common in their families either. As a working mom, I completely understand the need to get dinner on the table quickly without a mess to clean up. Scraping cheese off the ceiling doesn’t sound appealing after a long day. I get it, but with all things considered, the moments I spend in the kitchen with my family makes me enjoy them that much more. Plus, my daughter is a healthier and stronger eater because she’s learning about food and enjoying cooking for herself – a trait I’m happy to teach.
One of our favorite nights in the kitchen is pizza night. It’s perfect because it’s all hands on and completely customizable! Topping choices are endless and I’ve even found that my daughter actually chooses the colorful veggies to create hers. My husband is full on carnivore, while I tend to get a little creative. We usually have many fresh options available and always use fresh dough. I mean really, where’s the fun if you can’t try to spin pizza dough in the air? Yes, it might end up on the dog but it’s completely worth it. The point is to let go, have fun, and enjoy the time together while eating some really delicious grub.
Now, on to one of our favorite pizzas–Bacon Jam “Pizza.” This isn’t one we cook often, because it is a bit on the indulgent side and is definitely an adult topping, but it is completely worthy of every bite. This slightly sweet and savory pizza topped with sharp cheddar cheese, grape tomatoes, and peppery arugula is a flavor combination not to be missed!
NB. This jam is far too salty for kids so we keep this for an adult pizza night.
Bacon Jam Pizza (serves 4)
For the bacon jam
- 1 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until it’s crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon to a plate, reserving the remaining bacon fat. Add onions and sauté, until softened, about 10 minutes. Return the bacon to the pot along with maple syrup, water, vinegar, rosemary, salt, and pepper; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour or until it has reached a jam-like consistency.
Allow to cool. Transfer to a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times, being careful not to over puree, to achieve a thick yet chunky consistency. Add additional salt or pepper to taste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
For the pizza
- Pizza dough for 1 medium pizza
- ¼ cup bacon jam
- ½ cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- ½ cup aged white cheddar cheese, shredded
- Handful fresh arugula
Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C).
Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough into a 13-inch circle (it doesn’t have to be perfect). Place the dough in a cast iron skillet, and with your fingers roll the edges of the dough to form a crust. Spread the bacon jam evenly onto the dough. Top with an even sprinkling of cheese and tomatoes.
Place the cast iron skillet on the stove over high heat. Heat the skillet for 3 minutes, then carefully (use oven mitts) transfer to the oven. Heating the pan before cooking will ensure a crispy crust. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use a pizza stone or baking sheet — just skip the stove step.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and slide the pizza onto a cutting board. Top with arugula, slice, and serve.