Caramelized Pear and Onion Pizza (with Bacon of course!)

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As you may have already realized by our most recent pizza post, we like to take pizza to a new level by preparing pizzas that you just wont find at your local pizza shop. While oversees last week, I had a chance to check out Bayerischer Bahnhof (to read more, go here) in which I was delighted to find baked camembert cheese served with sliced pears as an appetizer and a spatzle dish smothered with cheese and sautéed onions and pears. Now, Bayerischer Bahnhof is by no means the first to bring pears and onions together as a unified force to fight off all hunger around the world (and thus we are not either), but, it was the inspiration for a dish that we just had to put together as soon as I arrived back in the states.

Pizza and beer go together photosynthesis and the sun (think about it). So, why not bring the unique blend of flavors from pears and onions together into a pizza topping. Brilliant! Thus, we bring to you here a pizza smothered with caramelized pears and onions, sprinkled with some crispy bacon and then piled high with mounds of freshly shredded gouda cheese. Oh, and the sauce . . . well, we really feel as though a tomato based sauce, or even a cream based sauce just would be too overwhelming for the subtle flavors and texture of the pears, so we went with a good old habanero BBQ sauce (actually, it is exactly the same sauce that we used for the last pizza recipe).

While the pizza may have quite a bit of cheese piled on, it is still relatively light when it comes to pizza since there is not a pound of sausage floating on the sea of cheese and nor is there a ton of dense sauce forming a buffer between the pizza crust and the delicious toppings. So, we think that a perfect beer for the caramelized pear and onion pizza is an ESB (or, extra special bitter for those of you that may not be familiar with this type of beer). Specifically, we went with Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing in Longmont, Colorado. Don’t let the name of this type of beer mislead you. ESB’s are actually far from bitter, especially when compared with IPAs and IIPAs. In fact, what makes an ESB such a great counterpart to the caramelized pear and onion pizza is its balance of sweetness and bitterness, just like the balance created with the pears and the onions. The beer is by no means heavy and will never be dark. And, when it comes to finding a beer for that warm summer evening, there are few things better than a crisp refreshing ESB!

We hope that you find this pizza as delectable as we do!

Caramelized pears and onions . . . oh my!

Caramelized pear and onion pizza!


Caramelized Pear and Onion Pizza
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr, 30 min
2 pizzas


  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (100° to 110°F)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dry instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons (plus a little extra for coating the dough) olive oil
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pears (cored and diced)
  • 2 small yellow onions (diced)
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 lb gouda cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup sweet habanero bbq sauce


  • Add the yeast and sugar to the warm water and let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the yeast to be reenergized. You should see some brown foam forming on the top of the liquid. If you don’t this likely means that your yeast are dead and you should start over.
  • In a medium bowl (or a stand mixer with a dough hook), and the flour, salt, and olive oil to the water, yeast, and sugar mixture. If doing this by hand, be sure to knead the dough for at least 8-10 minutes or until the dough is elastic and comes together but is still a tad bit sticky. A good way to determine if your dough is good to go is to pull a piece of the dough, pinched between your index finger and thumb until the dough tears. Right before it tears you should be able to see through the dough. If not . . . knead the dough a bit more. Feel free to add some flour to the dough if your dough is too sticky (its going to depend a lot on the humidity where you are).
  • Form the dough into a ball and place it in a large bowl. Pour a small amount of olive oil on the dough, just enough to coat it. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. Let sit for 6-12 hours (overnight would be good too if you have the time).
  • After the dough has rested for at least 6 hours, we can begin to prepare the pizza toppings.
  • Prepare the sweet habanero BBQ sauce as per the directions here and set aside to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the bacon strips in an aluminum foil-lined baking dish. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the bacon has rendered out about half of its fat. Remove from the oven and place the bacon strips on paper towels. Let cool. Once cool, break the bacon into small, bite-size pieces.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add the onions and pears with a dash of kosher salt. Be careful to stir the mixture often so that the sugars in the pears do not burn. We want caramelization, not burnt fruit. Once the pears begin to caramelize, turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to caramelize until the onions and pears are a rich brown (see the photo). At this point, add the garlic and immediately remove from the heat. Continue to stir until the temperature comes down a bit so as not to burn the garlic.
  • To make the pizza, sprinkle some corn meal on your pizza peel and form the dough into a 12-14 inch circle on top of it. You should have a bit of extra dough left that can be use for just about anything (like dough balls stuffed with cheese!). Apply a healthy coating of the BBQ sauce to the pizza dough and then sprinkle half of the bacon on the pizza. Then, place 1/4 of the shredded gouda on the pizza and top with the pear and onion mixture. Then, add the remaining bacon pieces and top with the rest of the shredded gouda.
  • Use your pizza peel to carefully slide the pizza onto the pizza stone. Bake for 10-12 minutes or just until the cheese starts to brown slightly. Remove the pizza from the oven using your pizza peel and let set for AT LEAST 5 MINUTES. Letting the pizza rest will ensure that you do not have a soggy mess when you cut into it. Once set, slice the pizza and serve with a Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing!


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