Monday, August 5, 2013

Apple (or Pear) Crust Pizza

Well. We are back from our lovely vacation in Prince George and I figured I had better get back on board the healthy eating train.
After making so many veggie pizza crusts -- you know, like our Carrot Crust PizzaSpinach Crust Pizza, and so many, many more -- I decided to see if I could make a crust out of fruit. This time I wanted to make a dessert crust and figured apples and/or pears would be my best bet.
These turned out really well. I made one with apples and one with pears and they were both equally good. In fact, I couldn't really tell one from the other. 
According to Myfitnesspal the nutritional breakdown is:
For half of one pizza -- 381 calories, 41 carbs, 11 fat, and 12 protein. (That is for crust AND toppings.)
For half of JUST crust -- 211 calories, 31 carbs, 2 fat, and 10 protein.
And I mean, really, who eats HALF of a dessert pizza? Well, except me...
The calories for 1/8 slice WITH TOPPINGS would be 95 calories.  Now you can make 8 people your new best friends. 

Apple (or Pear) Crust Pizza

2 large apples peeled (or pears), firm
1 egg
1/2 cup light cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger

3 Tbsp light cream cheese spread
2 Tbsp pecans, toasted & diced fine
1 Tbsp caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 400. Line a pizza pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Shred apples (or pears) by pulsing in a food processor (or use a cheese grater). Press as much liquid out of the shredded apples (or pears) by using a cheesecloth or something similar (ie: clean piece of material).
You should end up with a heaping 1 cup of shredded apple once the liquid is pressed out.

Put the shredded apple (or pear) back in the food processor and lightly pulse in the egg, cheese, cinnamon, and ginger until well mixed.  
Spread mixture onto prepared pan into about a 10 inch circle. 

Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes, until crust appears dry and a little browned.

You can either top with toppings at this stage OR you can flip the crust over onto another piece of parchment paper and bake in the oven another 5 - 8 minutes to crisp up a bit. In the photo below I flipped it over onto a pan NOT lined with parchment paper. It came off but did stick a bit. It would be a better idea to use another piece of parchment paper if you intend to flip it and cook it longer.

Use the parchment paper to slide the crust onto a wire rack to cool.
Top with the cream cheese spread, nuts, and caramel sauce. 

You can also use chocolate chips as topping but that will affect the nutritional count.

The one with nuts (top) is apple, and the one with chocolate chips (bottom) is pear. They look identical and they taste pretty much identical too.
You can pick this up in your hands but it is a little floppy. Think of it as a thick tortilla.

I covered the leftovers and had them in the fridge overnight and they were even tastier the next day. 
NOTE -- I used cheddar cheese because I love the cheddar + apple combo, but feel free to mix it up with some mozza or your favorite cheese - just nothing too strongly flavored to overwhelm the apple!
This is not a very sweet crust because there is no added sugar. The cream cheese and nuts and caramel topping make up for the lack of sweetness. The chocolate chips are very exciting on top.
I think what I will do next time is make the crust and then cook down another apple with a little brown sugar and cinnamon and put the cooked apple on top as the topping. 
What do you think?
Move over veggie crust pizzas, fruit crust pizzas have arrived!

Be sure to visit The Velvet Moon Baker and Chef In Training and Blissful And Domestic and Carole's Chatter for some fantastic links!

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