Thursday, February 26, 2009

Making Strawberry Pizza

Strawberries drizzled in almonds and sugar ... could there be anything more perfect? This is a snapshot of my strawberry pizza, a recipe from Arthur at the Adora Inn. His partner, John, told me a very beautiful romanticized version of the history of this recipe and how the crust was Arthur's Italian Grandmother's homemade recipe and how she would make this for him as a snack when he came home from school. The story formed images in my mind of flour dusted aprons blowing in the wind with a round faced, broad smiling older Italian woman in a red checkered dress standing in a Tuscan field greeting her grandson as he ran down the hill into her open arms ... (Did you hear a record scratch?) ... Arthur burst my bubble when he told me it actually was just a recipe from a dear friend of his that simply whipped this up in an instant for a dinner party when she realized she forgot to pick up a pastry. Still a beautiful story ... just not the Worther's-Candy-Commercial-Style-Story I had dreamed up.

Anyhow, this pizza is delicious for breakfast or dessert. The crust is light and flaky and includes an ingredient I've never thought of using in making crust ... ricotta cheese. Not to sweet ... not too heavy ... a slice of this pastry is the perfect compliment to a cup of coffee or tea.

Here are the key players ...

A bowl of fresh picked strawberries, a stick of unsalted sweet cream butter, 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 3/4 cup of ricotta, a bowl of sugar for sprinkling ... and I added a bowl of sliced almonds for some added texture.

Add together all your ingredients to make the crust ... flour, butter, ricotta ... and for me ... a little pinch of sugar. Blending this in a food processor or a deep bowl with a pastry blade works best. Arthur recommends not kneading it too much with your fingers as it makes the doe a little tough and less flaky.

After making your doe, roll it out and place it on a pizza pan and then pinch together the edge of the crust. I actually have a round pizza stone that I use for baking.

It helps to add flour to your hands to prevent the doe from sticking to your fingers ...

Next, slice your strawberries to layer onto your crust. Cutting them lengthwise makes for a prettier, almost heart shape.

Drizzle with sugar, almonds, and any other toppings you like. I made a mental note that adding some chocolate would be absolutely divine. If you are making this pastry just for yourself to enjoy ... feel free to lick your fingers at this point.

After 20 minutes in an oven set at 425 degrees ... you have a slightly sweet and delightful strawberry pizza. Enjoy!

Do you have any other fabulous strawberry recipes? Let us know!


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