Keep the grill going for a colorful July 4 fruit pizza dessert
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).
• Always start with very clean cooking grates
• Ensure the grill is hot before adding the dough
• Roll the dough as thinly as possible, about 1/8 inch thick
• Brush the dough liberally with olive oil on both sides, then sprinkle with coarse polenta or grits
• Grill the crust over direct medium heat, usually for 2 to 3 minutes per side (or until golden)