Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Pizzi Tutti Frutti

Sfizianti Pizze Dolci alla Frutta
Delicious Sweet Pizzas with Fruit Variations

Sometimes I just get the craziest of ideas! And this time, I got to thinking that I would make some sweet pizzas with fruit toppings... my mom would turn a somersault if she heard me suggest such a thing! But you know... if you sweeten that dough a little and keep it thin and crispy, it makes for a cool base for some sweet desserts! So armed again with my trusty grill pan and a selection of yummy fruits, I dared to go where no Sicilian has gone before...

Sweet pizzas are bound to have been done before many a time, but I wanted to come up with something special and distinctive to make these recipes MINE and mine alone. I wanted to have one cool idea that would really make it work- but instead I came up with a double-whammy with this one: a luscious, creamy, lime infused cream cheese topping and a sensationally spicy flavored sugar!

The pizza bases were made on my grill pan, in exactly the same way as my savory pizzas were (see my blog entry entitled "Prizzi's Honor"). The fruit toppings you can see for yourselves in my photos. But let me tell you how I combined a few simple ingredients to give you a multitude of taste sensations... It is probably a lot easier than you think!

I used cheese curds, which are readily available here in Germany and called "quark" by the natives... I love that name! You can get this in a very low-fat version with only 0,2% fat here and that is what I chose to use. Feel free to choose your favorite cheese that prefer for your cheesecake- basically it is the flavoring that makes the difference. I added to 500g of cream cheese, the zest and juice of 1 lime, 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey, half a cup of milk and a tiny pinch of salt. Whisk this at the highest setting for 2-3 minutes until it becomes smooth and creamy. It should taste something slightly reminiscent of key lime pie... so it has got to be good- right?

To emphasize the line flavor, I cut some strips of lime peel into tiny slivers and soaked them in a cup of boiling, sugared water for 10-15 minutes. This removes the acidity and bitterness and makes them softer and milder. I topped my pizza base with a generous helping of the whipped cream cheese and as you can see, used carambola (star fruit), raspberries and blueberries for this one, which I think I will call "A Star is Born". I laid out the fruits decoratively and scattered a little of the lime peel in between. The finishing touch was to be my flavored sugar, which really is the star of the show in all 3 of these pizzas. The fruits are basically a matter of personal preference, but the tart and refreshing cream cheese and the sugar will make whichever fruits you decide to use come to life in a whole new way!

I am going to call this next creation my "Crazy Caprese" because of the great colors. I decided to keep it simple, with fresh kiwi, my lime-flavored cream cheese and a puree of raspberries, powdered sugar and Cointreau. I made the raspberry "sauce" my simply crushing the berries in a mortar and pestle- I think it is nicer when you have a few random chunks of fruit in there to give the topping a bit of "oomph!"

Here you can clearly see the flavored sugar I mentioned- and not it is not a simple brown sugar... I call it my "Golden Sugar"- and that wonderful, warm color comes from a number of delicious ingredients. Again, using the mortar and pestle, I ground up some regular, white, granulated sugar with some orange zest, finely chopped rosemary, finely chopped basil, cinnamon, a little star anise, a little chili, a few assorted pepper corns and the tiniest hint of salt. It is amazing how wonderfully rich and brown the sugar becomes- and the aroma is out of this world!

My final creation I am going to call "Berried Alive" for obvious reasons.  I made a puree of the berries, with a little gin and some sugar, in exactly the same way that I made the raspberry sauce.

I spread the paste out onto the pizza first, added a layer of cream cheese and then carefully stirred these together. I then added a generous amount of berries and sugar and tried hard to stop drooling! Please take my word for it- it DOES taste every bit as good as it looks- and then some! Throw tradition to the wind and have yourself a bite of pizza the likes of which you'll never see at a pizza... but you'll surely wish you would!

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