Wednesday, July 11, 2012

fresh fruit pizza

The Summer months produce the best fruits . . . Wouldn't you agree?  
Local Farmer's Markets are brimming with gorgeous berries and stone fruits at low prices! I've seen berry baskets as low at 99 cents!  Which makes it hard to resist buying a bunch!

I love berries picked right from their baskets . . . sometimes with a hint of sugar, other times with fresh cream, but when you're entertaining ~ it's fun to bolster fruit and serve them in a unique dessert, like a fresh fruit pizza! 

So easy to prepare . . . and light for warm Summer evenings! The fruit combinations are endless, and so are the fruit topping designs (which is the creative part of preparing this dessert!)

And really, what could be better than fresh Summer fruit served atop a soft, chewy sugar cookie base and pillows of sweetened cream cheese!? Yum!

Fresh fruit pizza is quite versatile . . . whether served family style in the form of a large parlor pizza . . . or made into petite individual sized pizzas for special gatherings like showers . . . . Fresh Fruit Pizza is a light, yummy, and beautiful dessert.  

So here you go friends . . . 

Here's what you need . . .
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon, divided (use the other half for the frosting)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt   
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon (1-2 tablespoons)
Other half of lemon zest from above  
Fresh Fruit
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch round or tart pan with nonstick cooking spray. This will give a fairly thick crust. If you want a thinner crust, try using a larger pizza pan shape or a 9X13-inch pan (you’ll have to test this out since I’ve only used a 10-inch tart pan).  
For the dough, in a large bowl, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until smooth. Mix in egg, vanilla, and 1/2 of the lemon zest. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Press the dough into the prepared pan.  
Bake the dough for 10-12 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Don’t over bake as the crust will become dry. Cool the crust on a wire rack completely.  
In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the granulated and powdered sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and other half of the lemon zest. Spread on the cooled pizza crust to within 1/4-inch of the edges. Arrange fruit on top of the pizza. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill until serving time.

Bon Appetit!

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