Every year, there’s one week that encompasses the perfect weekend to go to a farm and pick some berries here in the Mid-Atlantic. It’s somewhere in mid-June and if you happen to go to just the right farm in just the right location, you’ll be able to get the last strawberries of the season and the first blueberries of the season. And if you’re really lucky, you’ll also find cherries becoming ready as well – not to mention veggies!
It’s with that in mind that we planned on trekking to Maryland to grab as much fruit as we could find. And it was a perfect day for it, too!
After over a dozen tries, this awkward family photo is the best we could do. Look at us squint into the bright sun!
We were thrilled that Russ and family from The Domestic Man, Brent and Heather from Virginia Is for Hunter-Gatherers, and Jennifer’s family from Predominantly Paleo were all able to join us as well! We all met up at Larriland Farms in Maryland, which is a terrific place to find pick your own produce. We try to visit a few times a year, when the season’s right. The fruit was so fresh and juicy we could not resist eating it right off the plant warm from the sun!
And the kids, of course, love picking! We got so many berries so easily, it was hard to believe. So it was still early in the day when we had filled our boxes and bags and headed back. And pretty shockingly cheap, too! When you pick your own, you pay $2-3 per pound instead of $5 per quart or pint. For about $20, we have 5 pounds of blueberries, 3 pounds of strawberries, a quart of sweet cherries, big bag of spinach and fresh herbs!
On our way from the strawberries by way of spinach to the blueberry fields, we stopped to pet the goats on their cool ramped house. The goats were spoiled on our freshly picked spinach and clover grass while the children all squealed with glee getting to feed them. On a side note, I’m particularly fascinated by the rectangular pupils that goats have. This article indicates that this allows for greater depth perception, useful in rugged terrain such as mountains. Other similar adaptations are seen in octopus and frogs, which is one of those things that you don’t realize you already knew until someone points it out to you.
When we got home, we had so many berries that we wanted to make something special to enjoy it. Well, inspired by hanging with Predominantly Paleo, Mother of the Genius Yuca Dough, and by the recent guest post Tasty Yummies did on how to make dairy-free cream cheese, we decided there’s only one thing to do: make a fruit pizza!
Dang! For real?
And easier than you think! First step is to head over to Predominantly Paleo for the recipe for her yuca dough. Better yet, watch her video. Trust me, it’s genius. I’ll wait… That’s pretty awesome, right? And we can safely say that it definitely works! And rolling it into four crusts was so easy, we had school kids do it! And unlike “regular” dough – it doesn’t get over worked or more difficult as you work with it – so they messed up a few times and we simply rolled their pieces back into a ball and started over. This dough is MAGIC.
The boys really did enjoy pressing out the dough and forming it. We found that once our rounds were formed we made a bit of an edge for the crust by holding our fingers close to the edge and then pushing the outer dough in towards your finger. This ensures the dough surrounding the crust doesn’t get too thin, while still giving your pizza a bit of a traditional lip. The dough is so forgiving that the boys played with their doughs for about 5 iterations each before satisfied and each time it was easily rolled back out and moved around on the parchment!
Then we simply baked and cooled the dough, topped it with sweetened “cream cheese” and added some fruit on top. Easy, right? We liked orange slices (what Stacy grew up putting on fruit pizzas) as well as our farm fresh strawberries, blueberries, and cherries. We set up a whole bunch of choices and let each member of your family pick what they wanted – it was awesome.
The boys said that it was one of their most favorite recipes because it was quick to “make” once the dough and cream cheese were ready, which meant they got to enjoy it without having to wait too long. I also think this would make an awesome birthday party event – because the entire pizza is grain-free, nut-free, egg-free, and dairy-free it’s vegan and paleo and autoimmune-friendly… perfect for sharing with large crowds filled who may have food intolerances!
- 2 cups peeled, chopped coarsely, boiled (for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender) yuca root
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or 1 tablespoon avocado oil and 2 tablespoons palm shortening)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unrefined granulated sugar (coconut, maple or date)
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 C cream cheese or dairy-free "cream cheese"
- 2 Tbsp creamed honey
- Fresh or canned fruit of your choice, recommended: strawberry slices, blueberries, cherry halves, mandarin orange slices, grape halves and bananas (must use gelatin glaze)
- Juice of a can of mandarin oranges
- 1 Tbsp gelatin
- 1 Tbsp honey
- Make the yuca dough according to Predominantly Paleo's instructions.*
- Split the dough into 4 even pieces, roll out on parchment paper and bake at 375*F for 15-20 minutes until the dough starts to become golden brown.
- Removed cooked dough from oven and set aside, allowing to cool completely before topping with "cream cheese" (which will melt if it comes into contact with heat).
- While waiting for pizzas to cool, whip the cream cheese and honey together until fluffy.
- When ready to make pizzas, add about 2-3 tablespoons of cream cheese to each pizza and spread out evenly everywhere except the crust lip.
- Arrange your fruit in an even layer.
- OPTIONAL: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk gelatin and honey into the juice until completely dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- If not eating soon then brush lightly with the Gelatin Glaze and refrigerate covered. Allow to rest at room temperature before serving.
*Our recipe ingredients vary slightly from Jennifer's posted pizza recipe, but that's because we've sweetened it similar to her Chocolate Ravioli dough. Feel free to play around with yours, as it's very forgiving and bland enough to accept flavor well!
We recommend making the "cream cheese" and yuca dough well in advance. We personally make the yuca puree in large batches and let it sit in the fridge for about a week before using it all (or freezing remains) in different kinds of doughs.
We also find that unless you're going to be not eating the pizza in advance the gelatin glaze isn't necessary or worth making, but is necessary if using fruit that browns easily (like bananas) or making them in advance. Just be careful to not let the glaze go beyond the cream cheese barrier of the dough or else the cooked yuca crust will soften upon contact with liquid.
If you’re not going to be eating the pizzas right away, we recommend brushing on a gelatin “sealer” after this to prevent the fruit from browning. This is optional and doesn’t affect the flavor much, if at all.Just make sure the “cream cheese” acts as a barrier and that no liquid gets on the dough, as this will instantly make it soggy and gross. The end result? Delicious fruit pizza!
The kids were hovering… waiting for the “alright, you can eat now” announcement as I took photos of their pizzas.
And look at that one made of just strawberries, blueberries and cherries, Americans! What does that remind you of? Ah, yes! Independence Day! Well wouldn’t these patriotic fruit pizzas be a smash hit at your next paleo potluck?!
Hope you have a great holiday! Happy picking.