Years ago, when I was newly married, we lived in Palo Alto, California. On the weekends we loved to entertain in our first little house, which we had dubbed “The Mouse House.” Searching for a new dessert offering, I came across this recipe. I think it was printed in a San Jose newspaper. (The newspaper industry was very healthy in the early 80′s.) It may have been Strawberry Festival time in California, a seasonal event that probably involved a parade and a Strawberry Queen.
This dessert recipe has proved to be an enduring success, and a perennial summertime favorite in my family. In fact, it isn’t summer until I have made Strawberry Pizza. I have made a few adjustments to recipe quantities over the years, but I have kept true to the original strawberry spirit.
2 cups chopped or mashed strawberries
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Sprinkle sugar over the strawberries and let macerate. Cook the berries over low to medium heat until they soften. Mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon of the strawberry juice in a separate small container or cup, until it forms a smooth paste. Then add the paste into the strawberry mix. Cook the mixture until it is thick and glossy. Allow to cool.
1 cup flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 stick of butter, softened
Mix ingredients in a small bowl. (I use my fingers.) Use hands to form the dough into a ball. Press the dough onto an ungreased 12″ pizza pan. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes, until the crust begins to turn a light golden brown. Allow the pizza pan to cool on a wire rack.
8 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Combine ingredients until smooth. Spread the filling onto the cooled shortbread crust, leaving a rim exposed, just like a pizza. Add the strawberry ‘jam’ mixture on top, and spread evenly. Slice fresh strawberries on top.
This tastes like essence of summer. Enjoy!
It doesn’t keep until the next day anyway…