One of my fond memories of political campaigning during the summer months was coming upon a roadside stand of local produce. Traveling in the Bootheel, it was always a special treat to pass through Campbell, Missouri, during peach season. I remember heading home after several days on the road with baskets and bags of melons, berries and peaches, enough to bring a ripe aroma to the inside of the vehicle.
This past weekend at the farm, I thought about the abundance of fruits we enjoyed after those campaign journeys. Just like then, my counter tops were covered with bowls of fresh fruit, heaped up like colorful Christmas ornaments. But this holiday was the 4th of July and we were preparing a very patriotic looking Fruit Pizza.
The simple, but beautiful dessert starts with a huge sugar cookie that forms the crust and is easily made from store bought dough. Top the cooked crust with a sweetened cream cheese and a bright design of fresh fruits, such as bananas, peaches, blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries.
Composing the design is fun for kids or anyone lounging in the kitchen who asks, “What can I do to help?” To seal your culinary art work, use apricot preserves thinned with a bit of water. Paint the mixture over the pizza to preserve the fruit and give it a baker’s gloss. There are a number of recipes on the Internet, but the one at Pillsbury is the old standby.
For the patriotic themed weekend, we used strawberries and blueberries on the creamy, white background, with a few peaches, well. . . because we had them. The festive dessert is suitable for any occasion, slices well, but stores poorly. Sadly, the cookie gets soggy when refrigerated overnight. So be sure to eat it all—which shouldn’t be any problem.