Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fruit Pizza

adapted from The Lowfat Good Food Cookbook

summer 2010 108

Just about everyone I know makes a “1st birthday cake,” but for the second time, we just had a “1st birthday fruit pizza” for Miriam’s birthday (I made it for Isaac’s 1st birthday too). 

Some people just think this is the worst thing- maybe because I will never have that adorable photo with cake all over her face, or maybe its because it is an enormous milestone to turn 1, and they should have the privelege of diving into deliciousness.

I try to hold off on giving my kids refined sugar until they are 2 (although as I have more kids, 18 months is just about as far as I can get, because they see their siblings having desserts), so fruit IS their “dessert” at mealtimes.   All my kids ADORE fruit, so this is really the best thing I can make them for their birthday (and we adults LOVE this recipe!)- they just get SOO excited to see all that fruit!! 

Miriam actually ONLY wanted the fruit, and then crushed up the cookie crust in her hands and played with it.

And contrary to popular belief, I’m not missing out on the messy face photos- we have PLENTY of those from other occasions!   

The Crust:

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup soft margarine or butter
3 TBS skim milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 3/4 cup flour (if you have a wheat grinder, you can probably use mostly soft white berries, but I’ve never tried this with ONLY wheat flour.  If you don’t have a wheat grinder, this is definitely better with white flour).

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp baking soda

The topping:

1 block reduced fat cream cheese

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp almond extract

2 1/2 Tbs sugar or honey

fresh fruit of your choice

1.  For the crust, cream the sugar and butter together until fluffy.  Add the milk and extracts.

2.  In another bowl, sift the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture until well blended.  Cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.  (There have been times I forgot to plan ahead and didn’t have 4-6 hours.  1 hour in the freezer usually does the trick- especially if you freeze 2 separate balls of dough).

3.  Press the dough into a 12-14 inch pizza pan*, or use a similar-sized square pan if necessary.  Press the edges of the dough slightly upward to resemble a pizza crust.

4. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until golden.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the topping by creaming together the cream cheese, extracts, sugar or honey.

6.  Let the crust cool, and spread the topping over it.

7.  slice your favorite fruits into bite-sized pieces, and decorate the pizza with fruit in any pattern you like. 

* The last few times I’ve made this, I’ve been able to stretch the dough and make 2 pies- about 9 inches each.  I use my finger and thumb to make the edges pretty.

This is definitely the best fruit tart I’ve had because it isn’t overly sweet.  (Oftentimes the fruit is coated in an overly sweet glaze. ) Its also really great served with whipped cream.

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