Cakespy: Pizza Pie Dessert

Note: Give a warm welcome to Jessie Oleson (aka Cakespy), a good pal of Serious Eats and all-around super cool human being. She will be chiming in with a delicious dessert recipe every Monday. Take it away, Miss Cakespy!

Dessert pizza is a sector of confectionery that is hard to take seriously. Just consider the campy Domino's Oreo Dessert Pizza campaign, the candy-coated versions relegated to "kid-friendly" sections of cookbooks, and the chocolate-chip cookie pizzas that are most readily available at mall food courts. It's cheesy all right, but not in a good way.

But finally, there is a solution to propel the sweet slice into respectable dessert territory: the Pizza Pie. This confection may look like a pizza but has the soul (and ingredients) of a delicious dessert, comprised of pie crust heaped with sweet preserves, rounds of cheesecake filling and little marzipan "leaves" to mimic the look of a Neapolitan pie. The final result is pleasingly substantial, with a nice mix of textures and sweet and tart flavors--not to mention extremely fun to serve to unsuspecting guests.

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Pizza Pie

- makes 1 medium (10-inch) pizza -

About the author: Cakespy is the alter ego of Jessie Oleson, a Seattle-based writer, illustrator, and cake anthropologist who runs Cakespy, an award-winning dessert website.

Cakespy: Pizza Pie Dessert

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About This Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust dough ball (recipe follows)
  • 3/4 cup fresh fruit preserves (I used a mix of raspberry and blueberry)
  • 1 batch cheesecake topping (recipe follows)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • Optional Garnish
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • Marzipan leaves (directions follow)
  • Special equipment
  • 10-inch pizza pan
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 package (8 ounces) softened cream cheese
  • 1 can (14 ounces) condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 ounces marzipan
  • 1 to 2 drops green food coloring

Procedures

  1. 1

    Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. 2

    Roll out pie crust on a floured surface until it is about 8 inches in diameter; transfer to a lightly greased 10-inch pizza pan and spread to the edges with your fingers for a slightly rustic-looking finish.

  3. 3

    Pour the fruit preserves directly on the pie crust dough; do not blind bake. Spread with a spoon, covering about 3/4 of the diameter of the crust (more or less, depending on how much crust you like).

  4. 4

    Form generous handfuls of the cheesecake topping into balls; flatten lightly so that they resemble slices of fresh mozzarella and then place on top of the fruit topping. Use as many of them as you'd like. You may have leftover cheesecake topping; this should not present a problem as it tastes excellent either sandwiched between cookies, spread atop pound cake, or eaten directly from the bowl.

  5. 5

    Lightly brush 1 tablespoon melted butter on the outer edges of the crust not covered by fruit topping: this will make the crust brown in a pleasing manner, and it tastes pretty good too.

  6. 6

    Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the crust has reached the desired level of crispiness.

  7. 7

    Once cool, garnish with marzipan leaves and walnut pieces.

  8. 8

    Pie Crust

  9. 9

    Place flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and combine by hand.

  10. 10

    Cut butter in by hand with two table knives until it resembles a coarse meal.

  11. 11

    Add 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water and mix by hand with a fork, just until dough begins to come together (you may not need to add the third tablespoon of ice water).

  12. 12

    Turn dough out onto a cutting board or smooth surface and form into a flattened disc. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

  13. 13

    Cheesecake Topping

  14. 14

    In medium size bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy.

  15. 15

    Add condensed milk, stir in lemon juice and sour cream; blend ingredients well. Chill for at least 2 hours.

  16. 16

    Marzipan Leaves

  17. 17

    Mix marzipan and food coloring until fully incorporated; separate marzipan into small balls (about the size of large marbles) and flatten each ball into a leaf shape; if desired, add detailing with a toothpick.

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