Dessert Pizza

Dessert Pizza

Dessert Pizza

Ok...  Go with me here for a moment.  If the title is too offensive, call it Low-fat Baked Fruit Tart if you like.  This is not the chocolate/Nutella monstrosities so many pizzerias seem to have latched on to.  This is the genuine article and it took me some time to warm to it, until I thought about it and basically it is a butter-free pastry made from a light bread dough, topped with fruit, mascarpone and nuts.  I decided to give it a go... WELL!!!  I am a total convert and hope you decide to make this next time you bake a load of pizzas.
Any fruit is worth a go – not too juicy though.  In my experiments pears and apples have proven the most flavoursome, along with their mercurial friend the fig, when it is in season.  Blueberries are jolly, yet just don't seem right on a pizza.  I made an orange segment and almond one that was lovely, however you do have to be mindful not to allow it to go soggy.  Experiment and find what works for you!

Pre-heat oven to 220°C

1 x pizza dough
2 pears
2 figs
100 grams flaked natural almonds
Juice and zest of a lemon
3-4 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
Freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla syrup)
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of very cold butter

Pizza base:
900 grams 00 or Bakers flour
500mls warm water (or less – work in only enough for a soft dough)
1 dessertspoon of yeast
1 teaspoon of raw sugar
¼ teaspoon of salt

Sift flour into a large mixing bowl with salt, making a well in the centre.  Add yeast to warm water, stirring in sugar.  Allow yeast to develop undisturbed in a warm place, once frothy and doubled in size add to flour and rapidly cut through with a knife.
Once all flour is combined and the dough is soft and malleable, cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rise for at least an hour.
Once dough is fully risen and very soft is texture, punch down and knead briefly.  Shape into a long even sausage shape and cut into four evenly sized pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball and allow to stand for ten minutes before shaping onto a pizza tray.

Slice the pears longways and squeeze over the lemon juice and add the zest. 
Spoon the mascarpone onto the pizza base in an even, not too thick, layer.  Arrange the pears and figs or other fruits on the mascarpone, allowing some of the base to be exposed – this will stop the pizza getting too soggy.  Drizzle over the vanilla and honey, grate over the nutmeg and sprinkle on the flaked almonds.  Lastly, sprinkle over the raw sugar and  grate over the butter, allowing a very small amount to go on each slice of fruit.
Place straight into a hot oven and bake for around 20-25 minutes, or until crispy at the edges and the fruit has caramelised.

As soon as it is out of the oven, dust with icing sugar and serve with espresso coffee.

See also the Pizza recipe for more yummy combinations.