This dessert is very popular with teenagers and children. You might keep this in mind for a graduation party this month if that is on your schedule. Also nice for a bridal shower if you want to bring something different. Pat brought it to a barbecue, (topping it with strawberries and kiwi), and it was a hit. The crust is a buttery, pecan-shortbread cookie crust. This pizza is wonderful with all kinds of fruit. You can use strawberries, as well as a combination of fresh pineapple and kiwi. Use your imagination and whatever fruit is in season. In August fresh peaches and blueberries would be delicious.
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
For cream cheese layer:
1 package ( 8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
For fruit spread topping:
1 bag frozen mixed berries, thawed (1 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
4 cups of fresh sliced strawberries
2 cups of blueberries
2 cups thawed whipped topping
1/2 cup of strawberry jelly, melted down. (Either in small saucepan or in microwave).
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. For crust: In a bowl, combine flour and confectioners sugar. Cut in cold butter till crumbly. Stir in pecans. Press firmly into an ungreased pizza pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes till crust is set and edges just lightly browned.
3. While crust is baking, beat egg, cream cheese, and sugar until smooth. Spread over the hot crust, return to oven and bake 8-10 minutes longer or until set. Cool to room temperature.
4. In a blender or food processor, mix thawed mixed berries and sugar till blended. In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Add the mixed berry mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or till thickened. Set saucepan in ice water for 15 minutes, stirring several times. Spread this mixture over the room temperature cream cheese layer.
5. To make the red, white, blue arrangement, spread the whipped topping around the outer edge of the pizza, not too thick, about 2 “ in width. Arrange sliced strawberries next close to the whipped topping. Continue in a circle with the blueberries. If I have more strawberries I add them now, and finish with a large dollop of whipped topping in the very center.
6. Brush the fresh berries with the melted jelly. This gives them a shiny glaze, which gives them a pretty and shiny finish, and also keeps the fruit from looking dried out. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before slicing. Cut it just like a pizza.
Recipe courtesy of Pat Altomare, Pat’s Kitchen, Eagle-Tribune, 2010.