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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Deep-Dish Fruit Pizza from The Pioneer Woman

Here's her link:  http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2012/01/fruit-pizza/ for the basic recipe.

Note:  Allow three hours from start to finish on this one.  There's the one-hour-in-the-fridge time and then the cool-off-the-cookie-crust-before-frosting-it time.

My taste test of the raw cookie dough (yes, I know) and the icing each passed my muster.  Meanwhile, my baked cookie crust is cooling.

Since I'm now post-28-Day-Break-Free Plan of JJ Virgin's, I did some substitutions.  After you go "Break-Free," you cannot turn it off.  It's like copyediting.  Once that spotlight is turned on, I find mistakes everywhere--in my pleasure reading, in professional blogs, in TV show headers (like telling us the time, date and/or place), even in freelance contracts.  Now I have that same attention to detail with my meals, snacks and desserts.

Since I was playing around big time with substitution of ingredients, per JJ Virgin's list of seven food items most likely to upset our system, I cut the original recipe in half.  This is my first day reintroducing elements back into my diet and I didn't want to overstress my body with the shock of corn (oil), sugar, eggs, butter, milk and gluten.

So, here's what I did to Ree's original recipe (which I have never tried before but I'm sure was wonderful, as is).  I used coconut oil instead of butter (one less possible food sensitivity to ponder).  I bought organic sugar specifically for use in this dessert but I went with Stevia to avoid the "sugar" element.  After all, I made oatmeal raisin cookies with Stevia per the recipe on the package and Stevia survives the oven.

Now, I did use less Stevia than the sugar listed.  That works sometimes.  A half recipe calls for 3/4 c. sugar and I used 1/2 c. Stevia.  [Okay.  I stopped to put it all together and have a piece.  I couldn't wait.]  Even for me, with my sugar cravings under control, I'd use the full 3/4 c. for a half recipe next time.  I wanted the iced sugar cookie experience, not really a cheesecake one.  At this time.

I didn't have an orange, so I used lemon zest.

I used one regular egg (not organic).  Should have gone organic.  I maintain an underlining assumption--if I am to eat one of the seven "sensitive" foods--that going organic's gotta help, along with four-day-apart spacing, if and when needed.  Maybe next time I'll spring for the free-range versions.

Instead of whole milk, I used cream.  After all, I had some in my fridge and needed to use it up.

I replaced all the flour with gluten-free.  I used Hodgson Mill's Gluten-free All Purpose Baking Flour.  It is pure white and light.  Beautiful.  This was my first voyage with this flour and it rates five stars, in my book.  (I am not getting paid by any of these brands to promote them.)

I forgot to halve the 3 tsp. baking powder but wasn't worried about it too much.  Sometimes with these "other" flours, you need the extra leavening added in.  Not here though.  I ended up with a crumb crust texture, instead of a solid cookie.  Now I know for next time.

Onto the icing part.  I realize this may come as a shock to many of you, but yesterday was the first day I ever bought marshmallow creme.  Weird, right?  I don't like my chocolate fudge diluted.  Although I do like that Mississippi Mud cake with the layer of marshmallows or the creme between the cake and the icing.  Yum.

Boy was I surprised to find out that marshmallow creme is just seven-minute frosting in a can, IMO.  So next time I make this recipe, I'll do my own icing, maybe even from Stevia.  Who knows?  It might work.  If not, I'll try it with the organic sugar I bought.  In fact, I think the icing alone will serve me, sans the cream cheese.

I topped my dessert pizza with all strawberries as they were the oldest fruit in my fridge and needed to be eaten soon.

Oh, and my raw cookie dough was pressed directly into the 9x9 pan I both chilled it in for an hour and thereafter baked it in.  I did grease the pan with 1 T. coconut oil (great oil for moisturizing your face as well as high-heat frying, with no odor, thus better for desserts than olive oil).

I cooked the crust at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Maybe my crust was thicker than intended.  Plus my oven cooks a little hot so I like to start off 25 degrees lower.  I can always brown at a higher temp at the end.

My stomach was all aflutter (and not the good kind) with the influx of "new" foods, having denied myself sugar/marshmallow creme, eggs and dairy cream for almost a month.  All from a single 1/12th square from a 9x9 pan.  I was actually having a sugar high for about ten minutes, but it has since calmed down.  Now I'm left with a too-full feeling and I'm trying to aid that with drinking a lot of water.  Maybe following up with a cup or two of some hot peppermint tea will cure what ails me.

Before JJ Virgin's elimination diet, I had no discipline when it came to serving size.  Boy, has that changed.  I note my stomach's reception of each meal now.  I stop to decide what to eat with great care, making wiser choices.  Thank you, JJ!

Denise Barker, author
Good Ole Boys, a love story
Professional Freelance Copy Editor

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