Cherry Cheese Pizza

Leader food columnist Kathleen Brotherton says this Cherry Cheese Pizza tastes as good as it looks.

When we think of pizza, the first thing that comes to mind is a hot slice of crispy dough topped with a spicy tomato sauce, sprinkled with pepperoni, sausage, hamburger or Canadian bacon and smothered in melted cheese. But there are a variety of pizzas, even dessert pizzas.

If you’re a fan of cherry pie, you’re sure to like this dessert pizza recipe. It’s got a thin pie crust topped with a cheesecake filling and cherries, a combination that can’t be beat.

This Cherry Cheese Pizza is quick and easy to make, but it’s so beautiful your guests will think you’ve spent hours creating it. The best part is it tastes as good as it looks.

CHERRY CHEESE PIZZA

Crust:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup cold butter

2 tablespoons shortening

3 to 4 tablespoons hot water

Cream Cheese layer:

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup chopped almonds

Topping:

1 can of cherry pie filling

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Whipped topping

In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder; cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add hot water, and using a pastry blender, blend until dough forms a ball.

Roll out dough between two sheets of floured waxed paper into a 14-inch circle. Place circle on an ungreased 12-inch pizza pan. Flute edges to form a ridge; prick bottom of crust with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Sprinkle flour over cheese mixture and blend until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in nuts. Spread over crust. Bake 10 minutes longer. Cool to room temperature.

For the topping, mix the almond extract with cherry pie filling and spread over cream cheese layer. Decorate the edges of cherry-cheese pizza with spoons full of whipped cream or whipped topping. Serve immediately.

Note: If you want to make the pizza ahead of time, keep the basic pizza in the fridge after it cools and add the whipped topping around the edges when ready to serve. Makes 10-12 servings.

Brotherton offers website readers one stellar recipe a week in the “My Leader Yummy” feature.

Looking for a recipe you can’t find? Email me at kbrotherton42@gmail.com and I’ll see if I have it.

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