For any pizza, you need a good base, a flavoursome tomato sauce, Mozzarella cheese and a few basil leaves, scattered on top.
Well, it’s still April, and the Very Good Recipes Challenge this month is “April Fool“. Here is my entry. Think Pizza Margherita….think again!!!
“Pizza Base” – Lemon & Vanilla Shortbread
100g/4oz unsalted, softened butter
50g/2oz caster sugar
1 tspn Vanilla Extract
Zest of 1 small, unwaxed lemon
150g/5oz plain flour
25g/1oz Rice Flour
A Pinch of Salt
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, add the vanilla extract and the lemon zest, then sift in the flours and salt, and combine until all the ingredients come together.
Knead on a floured surface to form a soft dough. Wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough, and form into a “pizza base” shape, place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, and bake in a pre-heated oven 170C/325F/Gas 3 for 30 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
“Tomato Sauce” – Raspberry Coulis
125g/4 1/2 oz pack of fresh Raspberries
25g/1oz Caster Sugar
3 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons of Water
1 Teaspoon Ground Arrowroot mixed with 6 Teaspoons of water
Heat the raspberries in a pan with the sugar, lemon juice, and water so that the fruit softens and the sugar dissolves.
Blend the coulis with a hand-blender, pass through a sieve into a bowl. Place the coulis back in the pan. Mix the Ground Arrowroot and water together, and add to the coulis. Heat very gently until the sauce thickens.
Tip: Using Ground Arrowroot will not add a “white” hue to the sauce. It allows the sauce to keep it’s own colour. If you use cornflour, it will turn this sauce a pale pink.
I melted 70g of white chocolate in a glass heat-proof bowl over a simmering pan of just-boiling water. I then drizzled the chocolate on to a baking tray lined with parchment paper and placed it in the fridge to set.
Tip: Using a glass bowl allows you to see if the water in the pan is touching the bowl’s base. If that happens, your chocolate will seize, and be unusable.
These were made from Royal Icing which I coloured green and cut out “leaf” shapes. They don’t make Basil-shaped cutters, so I had to make to with just leaves!
Assemble the “pizza” by spreading a generous layer of the coulis on top of the shortbread. Carefully remove the drizzled white chocolate from the parchment paper and place on the “pizza”. Finally, arrange the “basil” leaves on top.
The “sweetest” Pizza Margherita you will ever have!