Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Dessert Pizza

When I was teaching toddlers last year, one of the songs I used to sing at "circle time" was affectionately known by them as "the pizza song". Originally by Charlotte Diamond, a Canadian children's entertainer, the story of a pizza being made, baked and subsequently dropped was a favourite that I grew up with and that the kids couldn't get enough of. For a while, the class was so obsessed with pizza that we could have done a whole theme week on the food, playing games, colouring pictures and singing the song over and over. I kept promising we'd make "real" pizza too, but there just never seemed to be enough time in the day to do it, especially near the end of the year. 

"Dessert Pizza"

Enter Summer Camp, with it's more relaxed schedule of events! We had a fabulous themed week at the end of July that I mentioned before - "food from around the world" - and I seized the opportunity to use "Italy" for pizza-making. While I did make "normal" pizza with the older children, I started preparing the goods for a sweeter, fruit laden pizza with my toddlers first. While I call this "dessert pizza" - and it is - it's not super-sweet, nor is it loaded with refined sugar or fake junk. What it is packed with is flavour - I couldn't tell whether the finished treat was a bigger hit with the kids or the staff! After all, when you top a honey-wheat crust with honeyed cream cheese, 100% fruit strawberry jam, strawberry "pepperoni ", mint "basil" and a dash of icing sugar "Parmesan", how can you resist a slice?  

"Dessert Pizza"

Dessert Pizza
Makes one 13x9" sheet pan, 16 pieces

Dough:
1 cup warm whole milk
1 tbsp instant yeast or 1 packet “Pizza Crust” yeast
3 tbsp honey
½ tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp canola oil

Topping:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp honey
¼ cup 100% fruit strawberry or raspberry jam
Assorted fresh fruit (not included in NI)
Powdered sugar (for “cheese”) and fresh mint (for “basil” or “oregano”), optional (not included in NI)

Dough:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until a smooth dough forms (about 5 minutes). Knead in the bowl for 2 minutes.
  2. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for 20 minutes (omit this step if using “Pizza Crust” yeast).
  3. Preheat oven to 500°F and generously grease a 12” pizza pan or rimmed 13x9” cookie sheet.
  4. With wet hands, press the dough into the pans.
  5. Allow the dough to rest for five more minutes, then re-work the dough toward the outer edges of the pan.
  6. Bake pizza crusts for 12 minutes, until cooked through.
  7. Remove crust from pan and cool on a rack. You can use these immediately, or wrap tightly with a double thickness of plastic wrap and freeze up to a month.
Toppings / Assembly:
  1. Mix the cream cheese with the honey until smooth and spread over the cooled crust.
  2. Spread a layer of jam (the “pizza sauce”) over top and add fresh fruit to taste.
  3. Garnish with powdered sugar (for “cheese”) and mint (the “basil” or “oregano”) and enjoy!

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 195.3
Total Fat: 8.3 g
Cholesterol: 17.0 mg
Sodium: 49.3 mg
Total Carbs: 27.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g
Protein: 4.7 g