Thursday, July 7, 2016

Fruit Pizza with Citrus Glaze

We have had the pleasure of hosting my sister Amy for half the summer. The kids have loved having her around to play with them during times when Mommy is at her busiest and I have loved having an extra pair of hands to help me with the kids in addition to her companionship and friendship. Unfortunately, our time together is coming to a fast end and I am already sobbing into my pillow just thinking about the upcoming separation. Parting truly is such sweet sorrow. I don't know if I can go back to how things were before when it was just me, myself, and I chasing the kiddos around but I'll have to find a way to manage! She better head back this way next summer!

One of Amy's defining characteristics is her intense and passionate love of all things sugar. This girl craves Coca-Cola as if it is necessary for survival. She could eat ice cream and cookies morning, noon, and night. I rarely spy her without a box of candy in her hands. She is a serious addict. As a family, we ate a lot more sugar than we normally do when Amy was around - not that anyone minded! We made cookies and dessert quite a bit and ate a ton of ice cream, and our excuse was "because Aunt Amy is here!" Every day Aunt Amy is around is a day to celebrate with sweets!

One of the desserts Amy wanted to make while she was out here was a fruit pizza. Matthew had eaten a fruit pizza sometime during the school year when one of his classmates had brought one in for her birthday celebration and he had enjoyed it so much then that he was ecstatic when Amy set about making her own version. However, he really wasn't much help and Amy was a bit disappointed in his lack of interest in the actual construction of this fruit pizza. His only contribution was picking out the stems from the blueberries. Emma, on the other hand, was a little bit more heavily involved in the project. I'm not sure whether her involvement was desirable or not, but she was right at Amy's side the entire time, sticking her grubby fingers in every single component and taste-testing for quality control. We had a couple frustrating moments when placing the fruit on top in a pretty pattern and Emma would come out of nowhere and start picking the blueberries and kiwis off the top and popping them into her mouth. She just wanted to eat it! Ironically, when we served her a big slice later, it was much too late and she was too tired to eat it. However, she did polish it off for breakfast the next morning.

This is a good, classic summer dessert! The cookie base is quite good - great, actually - and we all enjoyed it very much. We served it for dessert when Lucy's godparents came up for a visit. Such a great visit - we always enjoy seeing these two - and the kids love their "Aunt" Jen and "Uncle" Pat. We had a really low-key meal of burgers but it was nice to have a special dessert to finish the night with them!

Thanks Amy for everything you've done for us this summer. I'm seriously in tears thinking about you leaving! And not just because I'll miss having an excuse to eat dessert every day!

Fruit Pizza with Strawberries, Blueberries, and Kiwi

For the Sugar Cookie Crust:
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups (190g) spoon & leveled all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

For the Topping:
8 oz full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups (240 grams) confectioners' sugar
1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sliced Strawberries, blueberries, kiwi (or whatever combination you prefer!) 

For the Glaze:
1⁄2 cup fresh orange juice
1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
1⁄2 cup water
3⁄4 cup sugar
3 -4 tablespoons cornstarch

First, make the sugar cookie crust. In the large bowl of a stand mixer, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed.

In another medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cornstarch together. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Once completely combined, cover the dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 11-inch tart pan. Remove chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator and press into the bottom and sides of the tart pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the edges are very lightly browned. Be careful not to overbake!. Allow crust to cool completely before decorating.

While the crust cools, use the time to chop/slice the fruit. Refrigerate until ready to decorate!

To prepare the glaze, combine orange juice, lemon juice, sugar and corn starch in a saucepan.
Cook on medium-low heat until thickened. Allow the sauce to cool completely before using.

When ready to decorate, make the frosting. Using the stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Carefully add the confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon of cream. Beat for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and 1 more tablespoon of cream if needed to thin out. Beat for 1 minute. Spread in a thick layer over the cooled sugar cookie crust. Decorate with fruit by overlapping in concentric circles. Brush the glaze over the fruit to make it all shiny and pretty!

Cut into slices and serve. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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