Everyone has their own way of marking the true beginning of summer. Some go by the official calendar date. Maybe you mark it from the first dip in the pool or the first 80-degree day. Me? I know summer is really here when I can relax on the porch with a good group of friends, a rousing game of Settlers of Catan and a delicious fresh fruit pizza.
Oh, you’ve never experienced the joy of a fruit pizza? Please allow me the pleasure of introducing you to this summer treat.
Easy to Make
One of the reasons I love this treat is that it is so easy to make.
First, grab a package of sugar cookies from the refrigerated section of your grocery store. These presliced, ready-to-bake goodies are great to have on hand for when you’re craving a little cookie dough or need fresh-baked cookies in a hurry. They’re also the perfect, light, sugary choice for a pizza crust.
Grab a round pizza pan or rectangular baking sheet and line it with aluminum foil topped with cooking spray. Then line the pan again, this time with the cookie slices. Once the pan is full, press the edges of the cookies together to make one solid layer. Bake according to package directions. After your giant cookie has cooled completely, turn it over onto a serving dish.
The next step is just as simple. Take an 8-ounce package of light cream cheese, ¼ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon of vanilla. Make sure the cream cheese is softened so it is easy to mix. Combine the three ingredients in your mixer, beat until combined and smooth. Spread it on the sugar cookie crust.
The final step is the easiest: Add the fruit toppings. Pick whatever fruits are your favorite and go to town. There are no hard-and-fast rules of fruit pizza, so add whatever combination gets your taste buds watering.
As if this dish wasn’t already dreamy, it’s also a recipe that lends itself easily to substitutes and customizations.
Trying to keep a healthier diet? No worries. There are easy ingredient substitutions you can employ to make this treat healthier.
Want a sugar-free crust? Skip the sugar cookies and instead make a refrigerated dough out of dates, nuts and sunflower seeds. Combine the three ingredients in your blender and then pack the resulting dough onto a wax paper-lined pan. Refrigerate until hard, then tip out onto a serving dish.
Need to cut the cream cheese from your spread? Skip that part of the recipe altogether and instead use your favorite flavor of Greek yogurt.
Want to go all fruit? Skip the crust and the spread and instead add your fruit toppings to pizza-slice shaped watermelon wedges.
Eye for Design
If you really want your friends to pause to exclaim “wow!” before devouring your fruit pizza, take the time to create an interesting design with your fruit topping. Sure, you could just scatter your chosen fruits over the top and call it a day; or you could create concentric rings in a rainbow of fruit. You could create a pinwheel, a starburst or come up with your own unique mosaic of colorful fruit pieces.
At the end of the day, no matter what design or ingredients you pick, this recipe is so delicious, versatile and simple that you and your friends will be left licking your lips and wanting more.