Sweet Pizza with Fruit Topping
Makes 8 servings
My good friend, chef Lynn Mansel, created this sweet dessert pizza on one of my programs, and it was a show stopper! I have adjusted his recipe using fruits in season during the winter months, but be imaginative—during summer fruit season, try this recipe with fresh apricots, peaches or nectarines.
1/2 ounce dry active yeast
2 1/2 cups warm milk
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
About 8 cups bread flour
1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk and let stand a couple of minutes in a large bowl. Stir in the honey and olive oil. Combine salt and flour, and fold in until it forms a soft ball (additional flour might be needed).
2. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and cover; let stand until double.
3. When the dough is ready, punch it down and divide it into 8 individual dough balls; rest on a floured surface and cover.
The Cream Filling
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1 large egg
4 large egg yolks
2 1/4 cups milk, divided
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1¾ cups well-drained ricotta cheese
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1. Place the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and mix to combine. Add the egg, egg yolks, and 1/4 cup of the milk. Mix until a smooth paste forms.
2. Place 2 cups of the milk and the vanilla bean in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the bean.
3. Pour the boiled milk over the yolk mixture, while whisking. Strain the mixture through a sieve back into a clean pot, taking care to scrape the mixing bowl well. Bring back to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly; cook until the mixture thickens the back of a spoon.
4. Transfer to a clean bowl. Stir in the butter and salt; cover and chill. 5. Fold in the cheese and confectioners’ sugar just before using.
The Fruit Topping
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup sweet white wine
3 cups diced fresh pineapple, diced pears, apples, or a combination
1. Place the sugar and butter in a shallow pan, and cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and it turns a light golden color. Add the wine and reduce slightly.
2. Remove from the heat and stir in the fruit. Set aside to cool.
10 dried figs (soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, then drained)
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup balsamic glaze (Note: You can buy balsamic glaze or make your own by heating one bottle of balsamic vinegar until it’s reduced to half its volume and then adding 2 tablespoons of honey.)
Fresh mint leaves and confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
1. Cut the figs into quarters. Place the sugar and butter in a shallow pan with the glaze, and bring to a boil.
2. Add the figs and cook for 5 minutes. Strain and cool.
Prepare the Pizza
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Flatten each dough ball with your hands and shape into a 6-inch diameter round. Transfer each onto parchment-lined sheet pans. Place 4 rounds on each pan, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
2. Divide and spread about ¼ cup of the Cream Filling on each of the dough circles, leaving ½ inch of uncovered dough around the edge. Place the Fruit Topping in a decorative fashion on each pizza; bake for 15-20 minutes or until pizza is a golden color.
3. Remove from the oven; place each pizza on its own plate and drizzle with the Sauce. Garnish each plate with a drop of Cream Filling, and a fresh mint leaf. Finish with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.