It almost felt like spring over the weekend in New York. Nearly all of the snow from this long, long winter had melted and my kids could even play basketball outside for a while. Shrieks and screams that can drive me to near-madness when the children are inside are downright adorable when they’re outside. Good strawberries, the kind that are actually red inside and not a million dollars a pound, are even showing up in the grocery store. Hooray! Time to celebrate with an impressive-looking-but-super-easy gluten free fruit pizza.
I wanted to impress you with a pretty fruity pattern on the pizza, but I do have a few words to the wise about the whole fruit pizza business…
Here goes: Be careful not to underbake the sugar cookie crust or it will be flimsy and may crack as you handle it, but keep in mind that it does bake quickly. If you want the cleanest slice, chill the filled and decorated pizza before serving and serve chilled. If you simply can’t abide a slightly fallen strawberry or crushed blueberry, bake and fill the crust, then decorate with fruit after slicing. And finally, don’t overdo it on the fruit decorations. If you crowd the filling with too much fruit, slicing becomes much more difficult and the effect is ruined. Ruined, I tell you. Plus, you’ll want to decorate with slicing in mind, leaving room for your pizza wheel to do its work.
I went all the way, baby, and served this to my family after a Friday night meal of actual cheesy gluten free pizza. Happily, the irony was not lost on them. Spring is full of surprises, isn’t it?
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (58 g) confectioners’ sugar
7 tablespoons (98 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg (60 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Lukewarm water by the half-teaspoonful, as necessary
Whipped Cream Cheese Filling 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream, chilled
1/2 cup (58 g) confectioners’ sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Fruit Topping 8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced about 1/4-inch thick
2 fresh kiwis, peeled and sliced about 1/4-inch thick
4 ounces fresh blueberries
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 12-inch pizza pan (or large baking sheet) with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
First, make the cookie dough. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, egg and vanilla, mixing to combine after each addition. The dough should come together and be thick but not stiff. If it is stiff, add water by the quarter teaspoonful, mixing to combine after each addition, until the dough reaches the proper consistency.
Shape and bake the crust. Place the cookie dough between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper and roll it out into a round about 3/8-inch thick and about 11-inches in diameter. If your pizza pan is smaller, trim the circle to fit the pan. Place the shaped dough on the prepared pizza pan or baking sheet, and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or the freezer for less than 10 minutes to chill until firm. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and place the pan in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the crust is very lightly golden brown on the underside and set all the way to the center. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool completely on the pan. The cookie crust can be made days (or even weeks) ahead of time, cooled, and then wrapped tightly and frozen. Defrost at room temperature and continue with the recipe.
Make the filling.Transfer 2 tablespoons of the cream to a small bowl and set it aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, place the remaining cream and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar, and continue to beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a separate, large bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill. In the same bowl, place the cream cheese, vanilla, salt and reserved 2 tablespoons cream. With the whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese mixture on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Remove the whipped cream from the refrigerator and add half of the whipped cream mixture to the cream cheese mixture, and whisk to combine. Add the remaining whipped cream, and fold it into the filling carefully until combined.
Assemble the pizza. Place the filling on top of the cooled cookie crust, and spread into an even layer. Decorate the top with the fruit in whatever pattern you like. Slice and serve immediately, or, for a cleaner slice, place the assembled fruit pizza in the refrigerator for about an hour to allow the filling to set.
P.S. Have you pre-ordered your copy of Gluten Free Classic Snacksyet? These early days, right around the publication date, are some of the most important in the life of a published book! They tell my publisher that you’re excited about a new book, and booksellers like Amazon to keep stocked up!