Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lemon-Berry Fruit Pizza

Anytime I think of dessert, the tought of a rich, chocolate-based confection inevitably pops into my mind before anything else. Indeed, I proudly admit that I suffer from chocoholism. My day is never complete without at least a tiny dose of chocolate, in some form or another, whether just a small piece from a Valhrona bar or a large piece of a rich, decadent, fudgy brownie. Especially when it comes to serving guests, chocolate tends to be my number-one go to base for sweet treats. After all, chocolate always pleases the masses. However, for once, in my quest for lighter, more summer appropriate fare, I decided to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and come up with something different, something that did not include any chocolate! A fruit-based delight seemed the perfect alternative. Years ago, during one summer vacation, my mom prepared a scrumptious, refreshing fruit pizza for us that we all gobbled up. Simple yet elegant, light yet zestful, a fruit pizza is a perfect make-ahead dessert for dinner parties and a sureshot crowd-pleaser. I recreated this version turned-up a notch by adding the lemon curd as opposed to preparing a plain cream cheese frosting. Citrus flavors in general, but particularly lemon, wonderfully accompany all types of fruit. The amalgamation of sweet berries with the tang of the lemon curd atop the sweet cookie crust provides the perfect ending to any meal, and because it is not overly rich, you just might have room for a second piece!

Sugar Cookie Crust (from Allrecipes.com):
2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1.5 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Microwave Lemon Curd(from Morning Coffee and Afternoon Tea):
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
zest of 3 lemons
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup lemon curd
1/2 cup sugar(powdered is best, but granulated works fine too)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Glaze:
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Strawberries and blueberries to top pizza

For the crust:
Preheat oven to 375F. Sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder in a small bowl. Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the flour mix until it forms a ball, but don't over mix. Transfer the ball to a lightly greased 10X15 inch sheet pan. Press dough evenly across the bottom of the pan to form a crust. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until, golden brown, in the preheated oven. Crust will be bubbling and appear slightly underdone, but it will finish cooking with the internal heat. Let it cool completely at room temperature before assembling the pizza.

For the lemon curd:
Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl in a microwave on high for about 1 minute, or until melted. Combine sugar, eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest in another bowl with a whisk. Slowly beat in the melted butter. Microwave the mixture on high(or about 70% power if you have a very powerful microwave like me) for 3-4 minutes, until it is thickened. Stir every minute. Transfer to a clean glass jar, and let it cool slightly. Let it chill in the refrigerator overnight.
This made about 2 cups, one cup of which I used for the pizza. I happily used up the rest by mixing a dollop into vanilla yogurt for breakfast or using as a fruit dip!

For the frosting:
Beat all the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth and creamy.

For the glaze:
Mix orange juice and sugar in a saucepan on a stovetop on medium heat, and let it simmer until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool, and them mix in the lemon juice.
To assemble:
Spread frosting on top of the cooled crust. Wash strawberries and blueberries, and slice the strawberries. Toss the berries with the glaze just to coat, and strain the extra glaze. Arrange the berries on top of the frosting in desired pattern. Let it chill in the fridge for at least a few hours, preferably overnight. I promise, it is worth the wait!






1 comments:

Swathi said...

Lemon berry pizza looks delicious. colorful and tasty i know.

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