There’s a cake in the oven. It’s 75 degrees outside (finally!). The carpets need vacuumed. I need a shower. The pan of strawberry pizza I took to small group last night is gone. Like there are only crumbs left on the pan. So my heart is full. Nothing makes me happier than to take a giant something or other to a group of people and come home with zero leftovers. When I do have leftovers, I sneak them into the fridge of our small group leader when she isn’t looking and then leave quickly. But not this week, this week the pan is empty. So I am happy.
Here’s why I love this dessert: I love the idea of fruit pizza but to be honest I don’t really like it with all that fruit all over it. I really only ever want the strawberries. The blueberries, kiwi, mandarin oranges…..they are all formality. Screw formality. Cover this bad boy completely with strawberries and THEN add a strawberry filling on TOP of all the strawberries. A friend last night told me about a version of fruit pizza made with a chocolate crust. This would be amazing with a chocolate crust. But I hadn’t had the chocolate crust epiphany until AFTER I made this. Next time friends….next time…..
Start by making the dough for what is really a giant sugar cookie. It’s your usual cookie to-do list. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Add flour and other “agents”.
Now wrap up all that dough in some plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for an hour.
Now roll out your entire ball of dough into a 13 inch circle….like so…
I found this is best to do on either some wax paper or a silpat mat so you can put your pizza pan on top of it and flip it over. Then gently peel off the silpat mat or wax paper…
And THEN…..when this happens….
Don’t fret. Don’t swear. Take a deep breath and just start gently “mending” the tears by pressing the dough back together with your fingers. My mother would tell you to skip the rolling out process altogether and simply press the dough into a circle and build up the crust. She would say “you don’t have to roll it first, it’s not a law”… and she would be right. Live on the edge.
Bake that puppy, but not too long. I over baked mine a bit. It should be BARELY browned, mine was browned. It was still delicious but next time I’ll knock a minute off the baking time. Let your crust cool completely.
Place some cream cheese in a bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth. Then add vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth.
Spread your cream cheese goodness on top of your cooled crust.
Take a pint of strawberries, wash and hull. Toss in a blender or food processor…
…pulse into a chunky puree.
Combine your newly mashed strawberries with sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan and stir to combine.
Heat until boiling and boil for just a minute or so, until slightly thickened.
Cool in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, wash and hull another pint of strawberries and slice them up. Arrange your sliced strawberries on top of your cream cheese layer.
And finally, when your filling has cooled a touch, spread it on top of your luscious strawberries and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. I realize you didn’t need a picture of every stink’n step in the process but strawberries are so pretty. In case you have ever wondered how long it takes to blog things like this, I will tell you that I started at 1:45 and it is now 3:30. In the last hour and forty-five minutes, I baked a cake, the infant woke up screaming bloody murder. I rocked him, while he screamed at me. I told the 3 year old that she should stop singing at the top of her lungs and pretending to be a princess from Frozen because “book time” is “quiet time”. I tended to the screaming infant 4 more times. I wrapped up and froze the finished vanilla cakes. I showered. Because I forgot that I had started this post when everything else happened. Then I remembered this post and came down to finish it. My heart is still full, though my patience is running thin at the moment. Til next time……
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries (1 pint)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 cups crushed strawberries (1 pint)
- Make the crust: In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- On a floured surface, roll dough into a 13-in. circle. Transfer to an ungreased 12-in. pizza pan and build up the edges slightly. Bake at 350° for 16-20 minutes or until barely browned. Let cool completely.
- Make the filling: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over crust. Arrange sliced strawberries on top.
- In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and crushed berries until blended. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool slightly then spoon over the sliced strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.