Cook a Fourth of July dessert right on your grill. Red and blue berries, plus a sweet ricotta cheese, turn a grilled crust into a festive, patriotic finish to your meal. Photo by: Matthew Mead/AP
June 25, 2014 11:00:20 AM
As somebody who spends a whole lot of time thinking about grilling, I love that so many Americans celebrate July Fourth by busting out the grill.
So many of us are eating the same thing cooked in the same way, it's kind of like summer's version of Thanksgiving. Hamburgers, hot dogs and ribs rule the day. And that's how I like it. It's good to keep the main course traditional because that is what everyone looks forward to.
But dessert is your opportunity to switch it up. This year, wow your friends and family with a dessert pizza. And cook it right on the grill.
This pizza -- aptly named a red, white and blue pizza -- is not some gimmicky colored icing kind of dessert. It's quick, easy, fresh, healthy and delicious! Red and blue berries, plus a sweet ricotta cheese, decorate a grilled pizza crust for a beautiful, festive and patriotic finish to your meal. I use blueberries and raspberries most often, but blackberries and raspberries, or sliced strawberries or cherries also are great.
The dough is grilled crisp on both sides to give the dessert a hearty crust that is more substantial than pastry dough and can be grilled hours in advance, then assembled just before serving. This is the best way to make the pizza so the crust stays crisp and crunchy.
The ricotta cheese base is sweetened with just a touch of sugar, some vanilla, lemon zest and slivers of crystalized ginger. You could top the lemony-ginger ricotta with fruit and serve it in a bowl, but atop a crisp, crunchy, slightly smoky crust, it becomes an addictive dessert. This pizza would be equally good served for a special brunch on a lazy summer day.
When grilling the dough for this dessert pizza, follow these pizza making tips (many of which apply whether your pizza toppings are sweet or savory).
RED, WHITE AND BLUE GRILLED FRUIT PIZZA
Start to finish: 30 minutes (10 minutes active)
Makes 6 servings
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
Zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons uncooked grits or coarse polenta, for rolling the dough
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
20-ounce ball prepared pizza dough, at room temperature
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1/4 cup honey
Nutrition information per serving: 420 calories; 110 calories from fat (26 percent of total calories); 12 g fat (2.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 75 g carbohydrate; 5 g fiber; 28 g sugar; 12 g protein; 370 mg sodium.