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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Mini Strawberry And Kiwi Summer Fruit Pizzas

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When I started playing around with the idea for this dessert, I wanted to make it as easy as possible so it would be such a major undertaking to complete. Now, of course, you could make your own homemade sugar cookies if you have the time. I wanted to make a dessert you could make in 30 minutes but still gives the impression you spent the good part of a day making this dessert. My Mini Strawberry And Kiwi Summer Fruit Pizzas do just that.

My secret is using a package of ready-to-bake Pillsbury Sugar Cookies. They’ll make the perfect base for my fruit pizzas.

Mini Strawberry And Kiwi Summer Fruit Pizzas (46)

Mini Strawberry And Kiwi Summer Fruit Pizzas (49)

Mini Strawberry And Kiwi Summer Fruit Pizzas (44)

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Mini Strawberry And Kiwi Summer Fruit Pizzas (46)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1o to 14 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 12 3-inch fruit pizzas
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 1 medium-size mixing bowl, 3 small bowls, paring knife, rolling pin, parchment paper, pastry brush

Ingredients:
1 16-ounce package of Pillsbury Sugar Cookies (24 pack)
2 pint of strawberries, hauled and sliced, then sliced into half moons
5 large kiwis, peeled and sliced then sliced into half moons
1 15-ounce container of whole milk ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons of lemon zest, 2 to 3 large lemons
heaping 1/4 cup of powdered sugar plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup of apricot jam
2 tablespoons of very hot water
all-purpose flour

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. (If using a non-stick baking pan, bake at 325-degrees F.)

Start by liberally flouring your board and rolling pin. Take two of the raw cookie dough cubes first combining them next, with your hands, form the dough into a ball. Flour the ball of cookie dough and roll out into a circle, 1/8-inch in thickness. Place the circle onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat this process completing the entire package of cookie dough.

Bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until or until light golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool completely.

While the cookies are in the oven, prep and slice the strawberries and kiwi. Place the fruit into separate bowls and set aside.

In a medium-size mixing bowl add the ricotta, powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest, stir to combine.

Once the cookies are cool spoon on 2 tablespoons of the ricotta cream onto the cookie spreading the cream out evenly. Arrange the fruit in a circular pattern as seen in the pictures. Repeat this process for all the cookies.

In a small bowl add the apricot jam and very hot water. Whisk the jam and water together until the mixture has the consistency of a glaze Using a pastry brush, brush the apricot glaze gently over each of the fruit pizzas. This will give a beautiful shine to the fruit pizzas. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

Serve on a dessert platter and garnish with a dusting of powdered sugar.

 

 

 

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Berries And Ricotta Crostata-Updated

Berries And Ricotta Crostata-Updated (1)

I decided to update this recipe for two reasons. First, phone cameras are so much better now. Second, my baking skills have improved. Crostata is a rustic looking pie. It’s formed by folding the edges over the filling.

I think that my Homemade Pie Crust is perfect for this recipe. To get my Homemade Pie Crust recipe click on the link at the bottom of this post.

I made the dough the day before so all I really needed to do was to make the filling. Once the filling was made, I just rolled the dough out and baked.

Berries And Ricotta Crostata-Updated (4)

I think that Homemade Pie Crust is perfect for this recipe. I made the dough the day before so all I had to do really was to make the filling. Once I did that, I just rolled the dough out and baked. For my Homemade Pie Crust recipe, click the link at the bottom of this post.

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: Cooking the filling 7 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Note: This does not include the time for making the dough.

Ingredients For Filling:
1 pint of raspberries, reserve 5 raspberries for garnish
1 pint of blackberries, for garnish
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon Chambord Liqueur (raspberry liqueur)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon *arrowroot (or cornstarch)

1 15-ounce container Ricotta cheese, cold
1 cup confectioner sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
zest of one lemon

egg wash, 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
2 tablespoons of Sanding sugar (or Turbinado sugar)
1 sprig of fresh mint for garnish

Directions:
Place the Ricotta into a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and powdered sugar, mix to combine. Place back into the refrigerator until needed.

The day before:
Make the dough for the pie crust. There is a link at the bottom of the page for my Homemade Pie Crust

Preheat oven to 425-degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
To make the filling:
In a small saucepan, on medium heat, place the raspberries (reserve 5 raspberries for garnish), add water, granulated sugar, and lemon juice. You will see the berries start to burst and release their juices, 3-5 minutes. Next, add the *arrowroot (or cornstarch), stir well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer for 2 minutes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, until completely cooled.

Roll the pastry into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Ladle the thicken raspberry mixture onto the pastry, leaving a 1 1/2 inch border all around. Fold the border up over the filling pressing and pleating if needed. Place big dollops of the Ricotta mixture onto the filling, here and there. Brush the pastry edges with egg wash. Sprinkle just the edges with Sanding or Turbinado sugar. Using the parchment paper, carefully transfer the pie onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the pastry, has browned and the filling has thickened. Cool for 30 minutes.

Garnish with fresh berries and sprigs of mint.

*arrowroot: a starch (similar to cornstarch) obtained from the rhizomes of several tropical plants.

Serve at warm or at room temperature.

 

Homemade Pie Crust

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Banana Cream Cheesecake

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What do you get when you mix banana cream pie with cheesecake? A Banana Cream Cheesecake. This dessert will have you coming back for seconds.

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Above is a picture of my vanilla sugar. I keep my vanilla pods after I’ve scraped the caviar out, I add the pod into my granulated sugar jar, this way I always have vanilla sugar on hand.  I’m using vanilla sugar in my shortbread cookie crust for this recipe

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Offset Spatula

Above is what’s called an offset spatula. This makes frosting any type of cake so much easier than using, for example; a butter knife.

Note: A useful tip for frosting is to dip the offset spatula into very hot water then wiping off the spatula off. You want to do this once you spread the cream all over the top with the Bavarian cream.  This technique will give you a smooth top and defined outer edge.

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Yields: 12 servings
Bake Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Inactive Bake Time: 30 minutes in the oven
Cool Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Equipment: Electric or Stand Mixer, Spring Form Pan, Food Processor

Crust:
2 1/2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs (
12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
4 tbsp granulated sugar (optional vanilla sugar)

Bavarian Cream:
1 tsp powdered gelatin
2 tbsp whole milk
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp banana extract

2/3 cup cold heaving whipping cream
5 tbsp powdered sugar

Cheesecake Filling:
24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
4 tsp banana extract
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup pureed bananas (2 bananas)*
3 large eggs, room temperature

Directions For Whipped Cream Topping:
1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 fresh sliced bananas

Note: Use ripe bananas, not ones that have browned

Directions For Crust:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper lined in the bottom and grease the sides. Add the broken up shortbread cookies to a food processor, fitted with the metal blade. Press pulse a few times to process the cookies into crumbs. Add in the melted butter, and keep pulsing, until the mixture has the consistency of wet sand. Carefully remove the blade, then dump the crumbs into the springform pan. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides (ex: pictures above) of the springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that the water doesn’t seep through the springform pan. (ex: pictures above). Set prepared pan aside.

Directions For Bavarian Cream:
In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin onto the milk and set aside. In a medium-size bowl, whisk the egg yolks together and set aside. Add the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and banana extract to a large saucepan and heat over medium heat until warm. Remove the cream mixture from the heat and slowly pour the hot cream into the whisked eggs to temper* them. Add the egg and cream mixture back into the saucepan and return to the heat. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, or reaches 160 degrees F. This process should happen pretty quickly. Add the gelatin mixture to the hot cream and stir until smooth.

Pour the custard into another bowl and set that bowl inside another larger bowl containing a good amount of ice. Allow the custard cool to room temperature. While the custard is cooling, add heavy cream and powdered sugar to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form. Once the custard (Bavarian cream) has cooled, gently fold the whipped cream into the custard. (Note: Be sure the custard is, at a minimum, room temperature so whipped cream does not wilt). Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the custard so a skin doesn’t form on top, and transfer to refrigerator.

Directions For Cheesecake:
Set oven temperature to 300 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour on low speed until completely combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air add to the batter, ( this may cause cracks in the cake). Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sour cream, banana and vanilla extract, mix on low speed until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine after each of them are added. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.

Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust. Place the springform pan inside a large roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top of the aluminum foil on the springform pan. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. The center should be set, but still slightly. Turn the oven off and leave the door closed for an additional 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook but slowly begins to cool as well.

Crack the oven door for an additional 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to cool slowly. This helps to prevent cracking. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath along with the foil wrapping. Place onto a cooling rack and cool for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from the springform pan.

Spread the chilled Bavarian cream, using an offset spatula, all over the top. A good tip for frosting (underneath the picture of the offset spatula) is referenced above. Refrigerate the cheesecake until completely cool and firm, about 6 hours.

Add the heavy whipping, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract for the whipped cream topping to the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. whisk on high speed until stiff peaks. Pipe swirls of whipped cream around the edges of the cheesecake. Add sliced fresh bananas for the top and along the sides.

Store in refrigerator. If you’re decorating in advance with the whipped cream and fresh bananas, place cheesecake in a plastic cake container, then into the freezer.  This will stop the bananas from turning brown.  Bring the cheesecake out to thaw out enough to slice before serving.

*To Temper, is the process of adding a small amount of the hot cream slowly to beaten eggs while whisking so the eggs won’t scramble. Then add the egg mixture back to the pot, combining it with the rest of the cream mixture.

 

 

 

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