This recipe is so over-the-top delicious it should be a sin. It's homemade pizza dough with some spice thrown in for some extra kick. Then the pizza is topped with mounds of cheese, as any good pizza should be. The real kicker is in the toppings. I made candied tomatoes to put on top. Seriously, you can candy tomatoes. If that wasn't enough pizazz for you, I also candied bacon for the final touch. This is one sinfully good pizza.
I was thrilled when the California Tomato Farmers asked me if I'd like to work with them on a project. We use tons of tomatoes in our household. I'm such a pizza girl and a pasta girl so I knew coming up with a recipe for a sponsored post would be easy. If you are a regular reader, you know I am very picky when it comes to what companies I work with on my site. I have to completely believe in a product before I'm willing to commit to a contract. California Tomato Farmers is sponsoring this post and I quite honestly could not be happier to promote such a great quality product.
They sent me a truckload of tomatoes. I'm not going to lie, I had an initial moment of panic. I wondered what I would do with so many tomatoes. They were packaged to perfection in a huge cooler. The poor courier who delivered it could barely hold it long enough for me to sign. You do realize it wasn't really a truckload, right? By now you must know I like to exaggerate. Could you imagine the courier trying to deliver an entire truck to my door? Is anyone else picturing a courier holding a truck over her head? No, just me then.
As I was unpacking the tomatoes, it hit me that I would need to be careful handling them. You see, I'm actually allergic to the plants, and for some reason touching raw tomatoes gives me hives. I tend to forget this fact until I actually break out in hives. You would think that would give me pause, but not at all. I love cooking with them so it's a hurdle I overcome. I was very careful when handling them. I used all the tomatoes in various cooked forms as they don't bother me at all once they are cooked. It makes absolutely no sense to me but let's just say I'm seriously thankful I can include tomatoes in my diet. I could not survive without them. I use them in almost all my main course dishes in some way.
I have to tell you, I live in an area that is well-known for its tomatoes. So I have wicked high standards for them. The tomatoes from the California Tomato Farmers are exceptional. They not only met my standards, they surpassed them. I like a meaty tomato and California's climate is perfect for developing that flavour. Warm days and cool nights are key to a meaty tomato, and a meaty tomato is key to a good dish.
I knew I wanted to think outside the box for this post. If I'm working for a company like California Tomato Farmers, I want to make sure I go the extra mile. It's important to me to make something a little different and push the dish from "great" to "off the hook." I think any time you want a wow-factor in a dish, you need to do something a little over-the-top. My hubby wanted me to make pizza with tomatoes on top. I said, "dude, that's boring." In an effort to make him happy and still feed my need to blow the lid of the recipe, I decided candying the tomatoes was the right choice. Then it was an easy leap to include candied bacon as well. There's nothing better than a candied topping on a pizza, except for a pizza with 2 candied toppings. Yup, I went there. You're welcome!
I cannot even begin to describe how good this pizza is. If you have never candied tomatoes before you need to try. Like immediately. The taste is incredible.
I would like to give a shout out to Jenni of Pastry Chef Online for suggesting candying the tomatoes. We were chatting via G+ Hangouts one day and I was telling her all about my Tomatogeddon (I dubbed my antics tomatogedden and posted photos on my FB wall while testing recipes) fun. I was having so much fun playing with recipes for this post. I knew I wanted to do a pizza with tomato and bacon. I had recently candied bacon so I knew I was going to include that on the pizza. Jenni told me you could candy tomatoes. I had no idea. So I took her advice and tried it out a few different ways. It's amazing and for the first time in my life I can eat a slice of tomato without hives. Since they are cooked down so much I don't get that weird reaction to the skins. Very cool indeed. Thanks to my amazing friend Jenni for the inspiration. You rock my world lady!
To me, adding candied bacon as the accompaniment to the candied tomatoes was sheer perfection. They pair beautifully together and make an ideal topping solution for pizza. If you have never candied bacon before you really need to try it. It will change your life.
Candied Tomato and Candied Bacon Pizza
For the Pizza:
- You can use store bought dough or make your own dough. I used my Killer Spicy Pizza Dough for this one.
- You can use store bought pizza sauce or make your own. I used my Sweetums Slow Cooker Pizza Sauce for this one.
- 2 cups of mozzarella cheese we like the pizza mozzarella and use it exclusively
- Candied tomatoes instructions below
- Candied Bacon instructions below
For the Candied Tomatoes:
For the Candied Bacon:
- ½ pound of thick sliced bacon
- ¼ cup sugar
For the Candied Tomatoes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
- Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice tomatoes and set aside.
- Pour olive oil into a small bowl.
- Sprinkle some of the brown sugar onto a plate, you want to add a little at a time and work in stages.
- Now take your first slice of tomato and dunk it into the olive oil, get both sides coated.
- Now take that same tomato and press both sides of it onto the place with brown sugar so it evenly coats the tomato.
- Place the tomato on the cookie sheet and continue until all the tomatoes are coated. You should end up with about 20 slices which fits nicely onto a large cookie sheet.
- Place in the oven and cook for about 1 hour, checking occasionally to make sure they don't over brown. How fast they cook will vary slightly on the thickness of your slices.
- After 1 hour you can flip them over and cook them for another 30 minutes. I would suggest you start to check after the 15 minute mark to be sure you don't over brown them.
- Once they are caramelized nicely take them out and allow them to cool.
- If you are not using them that day you can refrigerate them till you need them.
For the Candied Bacon:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Sprinkle sugar onto a plate, work in batches, adding more sugar as you go.
- Take your bacon and put it directly onto the sugar on the plate. The moisture from the bacon will make the sugar stick. If your bacon is wicked dry you can add maple syrup. I usually don't need to.
- Make sure you get both sides of the bacon coated then lay the strips on the parchment lined sheet.
- Repeat with all the other strips of bacon.
- Place in oven and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Check often, bacon is one of those things that can cook differently depending on the brand.
- Flip it over and continue to cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. You want it light golden brown as it's going on top of pizza and will cook more when it goes back in the oven on top of the pizza.
- Remove and allow to cool, then remove from the parchment.
- You can use right away or refrigerate till you need it.
Putting it all together:
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Hand stretch your dough if you're able to do that. I prefer that over the flour method. If you can't hand stretch then roll out your dough on the counter.
- Place it on a non stick sprayed pizza pan or you can use a pizza stone.
- Prick the dough with a fork a few times.
- Pour on your sauce. We like ours very saucy here.
- Add your grated mozzarella. We use tons, you could half the amount if you like less cheese.
- Top with candied tomatoes and candied bacon.
- Place in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes depending on how you like your pizza. If you like a crisp bottom you can put it on a lower rung in your oven. I use the middle and then sometime move mine down to the bottom for the last 2 or 3 minutes.
- Remove and slice.
- Serve with a big old I Love Candied Tomatoes and Bacon smile!
If you would like to learn more about the California Tomato Farmers, you can find them on Facebook and Twitter. They have so much information to share and you will learn so much more about tomatoes when you stop by to visit.
Today, I'm pleased to announce the California Tomato Farmers have offered to give away a serrated tomato knife and cutting board to one of my lucky readers. It could be you. All you need to do is leave a comment telling me the following: "What are some of your favourite recipes using tomatoes?"
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Easy peasy, people.
I hope you try this recipe for Candied Tomato and Bacon Pizza for yourselves. It's a seriously over-the-top, decadent pizza. Just the way we like them here at the B household.
Thank you to the California Tomato Farmers for this amazing opportunity. I had so much fun making recipes with all my tomatoes. There will be more tomato recipes hitting the blog soon using the rest of my California Tomatoes. I went a little crazy and Tomatogedden ensued. I did Fire Roasted Tomatoes, Fire Roasted Marinara, Slow Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Penne with Vodka Blush Sauce, Tomato Tarts and Tomato Stacks. I've been a busy little bee lately.
Make sure you enter a comment to win. Thanks for reading.
Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post. The opinions in it are my own. I would never promote something I do not fully believe in, or use on a regular basis.
Toodles and smoochies! xx