Strawberry Pizza, From Scratch
The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, June 4th 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
Updating A Classic, From Scratch
Every strawberry season my Aunt makes a strawberry pizza and I love them! I could sit down and eat the entire pizza in one sitting, no problem. Matter of fact, I loved it so much I included the recipe for it in my cookbook – page 39. But really, strawberries, cream cheese, sugar cookie crust; who wouldn’t love it? Whenever I make it I think of strawberry season, farmers markets, Bell’s Strawberry Farm and of course the famous strawberry shortcake at Ivanhoe’s Restaurant in Upland, Indiana. If you have not tried the strawberries at Bell’s or the strawberry shortcake from Ivanhoe’s I highly recommend searching out both for a full strawberry experience.
Strawberries are really versatile and pair beautifully with a wide variety of flavors. Blueberries, orange, lemon, lime and even balsamic vinegar to name just a few perfect pairings. There isn’t anything more comforting to me though than strawberries, cream cheese and sugar cookies. When developing this recipe I really wanted to create a recipe truly from scratch. I did not want to use store bought sugar cookie dough or the strawberry glaze that you can buy in a pouch. I wanted something that was still familiar, yet updated and seasonal. I think that you will find this recipe quite delicious and I hope it gives you the good strawberry summer memories it has for me. This is the perfect recipe for entertaining, reunions or cookouts.
Strawberry Pizza, From Scratch
It is important that the cream cheese be at room temperature before starting this recipe. If the cream cheese has any type of chill on it, you will never be able to get the grainy texture away from the end result. The lemon juice in the filling really brightens up the overall flavor and pairs wonderfully with the vanilla and strawberries.
For the crust…
1 cup white all-purpose flour
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
For the filling…
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup white granulated sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice
For the topping…
1 cup strawberries, cut in half
¼ cup white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the white all-purpose flour, confectioner’s sugar, softened butter and salt. Stir until the mixture forms a soft ball.
With gentle fingers, form dough into ball and place in the middle of the prepared baking sheet. Press the dough into a 14-inch circle making sure the surface and edges are evenly proportioned. Bake this in preheated oven for 15 minutes exactly. Remove and cool.
To make the filling combine the cream cheese, pure vanilla extract, white granulated sugar and squeeze of lemon juice in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together until lump free and smooth. Spread this mixture onto the cool crust and spread evenly.
To make the topping combine the prepared strawberries, white granulated sugar and cornstarch in a pot over medium heat. Stir until the mixture begins to simmer. Simmer until the mixture turns thick and glossy which should take about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before spreading on top of the filling.
Place into the refrigerator until ready to serve. Best stored and served chilled.
Ask and Answer: Pat Bogue from Spiceland would like to know more about freezing cookie dough to make ahead, freeze and then bake off later. It is simple Pat, just make the cookie dough and roll into balls, placing on a baking sheet. Freeze the baking sheet until the dough balls are firm and frozen. Remove from freezer and place frozen cookie dough balls into a plastic storage bag. Store in freezer until ready to bake. When ready to bake simply place and bake. Bake a couple minutes longer than the recipe suggests for fresh dough. Almost all cookie dough can be frozen easily with very few exceptions. Certain peanut butter cookies and certain oatmeal raisin cookies tend to turn out dry when frozen and baked. Hope this helps!