PHOTO: Rachael Brugger
John D. Ivanko
July 1, 2019

It’s extremely fitting that our strawberries and blueberries are at their peak of ripeness as the Fourth of July holiday approaches. All of the ingredients to create a patriotic, tasty and natural holiday dessert to take to Independence Day picnics are growing in our gardens, right at our fingertips.

Note we used the word “natural.” Thanks to social media, the “red, white and blue” recipe trend has taken off, with bushels of ideas that incorporate patriotic colors. Unfortunately, most of these flag-inspired creations focus on achieving color through those bottles of chemically created food coloring and other processed ingredients such as gelatins and drink mixes. Skip the chemistry experiment. Instead, showcase the beauty and colorful inspiration of your farm’s berries.

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For a demonstration, watch our video below. It walks you through this recipe starting in the strawberry patch at Inn Serendipity and continues all the way to the dessert plate.

Here are a couple of more tips to keep in mind when making a Red, White and Blue Dessert Pizza:


1. Cook Ahead

It’s best to be out of the kitchen during a Fourth of July gathering, so make and bake the crust as many as two days ahead of time. After the crust cools, tightly cover it with foil to keep it crisp. You can also prep the cream cheese topping and refrigerate it for a few days before serving. Because the fresh fruit softens quickly, it’s best to spread the cream cheese topping and cut and add the fruit as close to serving as possible. Leftovers still taste good, but the fruit topping might look a little mushy by then.

2. Switch Up the Fruits

While using red and blue berries automatically increases the Independence Day celebratory nature of this dessert, you can use other fruits for other colorful designs on other occasions. Peaches work very well for flavor and color—just cut them into small, thin slices. Green kiwis add a nice color contrast, as do blackberries. Remember ripe fruit tastes best, so cut the fruit and add your design right before serving.

Aside from a sweet treat, here’s another reason to ring in the Fourth of July with this dessert pizza: While most folks associate “pizza” with cheese and sausage, as Americans we love to use traditional items to create something new. A dessert pizza symbolizes exactly that. So channel that sweet Americana pioneering spirit and celebrate summer garden bounty this weekend with a slice of patriotic pie.

Recipe: Red, White and Blue Dessert Pizza

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Topping

  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

Preparation

Crust

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a pizza pan.

In large bowl or stand mixer, combine powdered sugar, cocoa, flour and salt. Add cubed butter and incorporate with pastry cutter until dough is course in texture, resembling peas.

Add egg and vanilla and beat for about 1 minute, until stiff dough forms. You might need to knead dough slightly. Use extra flour on your hands and work surface to prevent dough from sticking.

Roll dough into 14-inch circle, about 1/4 inch thick. Place on a lightly greased pizza pan or baking sheet, and use your fingers to curl the edges in slightly.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the surface is firm to the touch and the edges are crisp. Allow to cool.

Topping

Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Spread on cooled crust.

Arrange the sliced strawberries and blueberries on top into whatever design you like.

Cut into wedges and serve.

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