NEW YORK — Until recently, I was convinced the triumvirate of perfect pizza toppings was tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil. Simple. Classic. Delicious.
Then I encountered a maple-bacon-butter pizza and discovered new depths of pizza perfection and appreciation. But first, a disclaimer seems warranted. If this pizza was on a menu, it most certainly would not have one of those happy little heart icons next to it. Digest at your own risk.
I was attending an outdoor festival being catered by a pizza food truck, Mountain Fire Pizza based in Gorham, N.H. Their menu listed the maple-bacon pizza, and it held no appeal to me. My bacon-loving 8-year-old, however, had other ideas. So we ordered one.
The sauce-free pizza arrived sprinkled with bacon and dripping with butter. It was, simply put, breathtakingly delicious. And I knew I had to recreate it.
Predictably, the Internet abounds with recipes for pizza made with maple-cured bacon. But the pizza I'd had went well beyond that. There clearly was maple syrup or sugar involved, as well as an ample helping of butter to keep things interesting. So I started playing.
In the end, the pizza I created was refreshingly simple. A basic crust topped first with mozzarella, then cooked bacon, them more mozzarella, and finally dollops of maple compound butter (made by blending softened butter with granulated maple sugar). It's as good — and unhealthy — as it sounds.
Start to finish: 30 minutes Servings: 4
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons granulated maple sugar
20-ounce ball prepared pizza dough, room temperature
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
12 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled
8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
Heat the oven to 500 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, mix together the butter and maple sugar until well blended. Set aside.