The sweets and baking arts are not my calling, though I enjoy baking a wedding cake for a crowd because of the challenge. But through the years, I have latched on to a few, and I mean a few, recipes which have become known as “Family Favorites.”
One is Fruit Pizza.
Please do not mistake this goodie for the pretty pictures of fresh fruit on a light crust that you might see in a Pampered Chef booklet or a Pillsbury Dough magazine ad. This little pile of indulgence is heavy and sweet, chewy and laden with fat and sugar and could probably kill you, if you ate the whole thing.
The recipe came to Dave and I within a few weeks of our marriage from one Mrs. Howard Helm of Minot, North Dakota. She was a faithful KHRT radio listener, where Dave was the afternoon/evening dj at the time and she stopped by the station to bring this dessert – in a time and place where it was received readily, without reservation and enjoyed by the whole staff.
This is old-fashioned-if-you’ve-gotta-die-of-something-it-may-as-well-be-dessert Fruit Pizza. Nothing light and fresh about it – well, the fruit is until you bathe it in the “sauce.” But it is pretty darn-tootin’ fun on occasion. Tristan asked for it for his family birthday celebration and though we all get very excited about it initially, we can barely finish our servings and are bemoaning how rich it is before we finish. But give it a couple of hours and we’re back.
Do you have the courage?
Old-Fashioned (Killer) Fruit Pizza
Crust: one roll of prepared sugar cookie dough, pressed onto a pizza round or into a cake pan or cookie sheet, baked 12-15 minutes (until browning). Remove from oven, set aside to cool.
Sauce (make this while the crust is in the oven): 1/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1 cup of frozen orange juice concentrate (don’t mix it with water-just the actual concentrate!), 1 cup of sugar, a dash of salt and 3 tablespoons of corn starch. Whisk these and bring to bubbling in a saucepan. Cook until thickened and then set aside to cool (must be totally cool before spooning over the fruit).
Filling: Beat 8 oz. softened cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
Fruit: any combination of your favorites in season or frozen. We love bananas, strawberries, kiwi and even mandarin oranges or fresh peaches. Then we pop raspberries and/or blueberries on top because they look so pretty. I used to place all the fruit in very careful patterns and designs, but when I started just using a cake pan, the sauce covered it all up anyway, so now I just throw it in.
- Spread the cream cheese filling over the cooled crust.
- Place fruit over the cream cheese. Load it up and pack it on.
- Spoon the sauce over the fruit. Chill for a few hours or overnight.
Over the years, we have strayed from the traditional o.j. concentrate glaze and tried fruity combinations like mango-orange, or strawberry-grape. I also put way less sugar in now, but you can’t tell!
My teeth hurt just recounting this.