Faced with a choice between cheesecake and fruit salad, most of us will ignore our guilt and go with the pleasure.
So we decided to create a dessert that would let you have your pleasure without the guilt.
The beauty of our strawberry-kiwi dessert pizza is that it looks like it should be a diet buster, but it really isn't.
To start with, our slightly sweet, almond-scented crust is made mostly from whole-wheat pastry flour, which is loaded with healthful nutrients and fiber.
We also add pureed low-fat cottage cheese to the dough, which helps keep it moist and tender without needing to add much oil.
Our pizza "sauce" is a blend of pure fruit jam (in this case raspberry, but strawberry would work as well) and a bit of orange juice to make it more spreadable while adding an acidic flavor balance.
After the sauce-coated crust is baked, fresh fruit toppings of sliced kiwis and strawberry are added. The two fruits work well together, and it doesn't hurt that they look a bit like slices of sausage or pepperoni.
Other great fruit pizza- topping combos include raspberries and sliced peaches, sliced plums and pitted sliced cherries, and nectarine slices mixed with fresh blueberries.
The coconut flakes are meant to resemble the cheese, but if you'd rather, you can use some grated white chocolate in its place.
Start to finish: 1 1/2 hours (20 minutes active)
For the crust:
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
For the toppings:
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons sweetened coconut flakes, divided
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and thinly sliced
3 large strawberries, thinly sliced
To prepare the crust, in small bowl whisk together the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a food processor, puree the cottage cheese.
Add the sugar, oil, milk and almond extract, then process until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and pulse 5 to 6 times, just until the dough clumps together (it will be sticky).
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and using floured hands press the dough into a ball. Knead 2 or 3 times, but do not overwork. Dust the dough with flour, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the topping. In a small bowl, whisk together the raspberry jam and orange juice. Set aside.
To bake and assemble the pizza, position a rack in the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-inch pizza pan or large baking sheet with cooking spray.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick (be sure to sprinkle flour on the rolling pin or the dough will stick).
Roll the dough back over the rolling pin and transfer to the prepared pan or baking sheet.
Spread the raspberry jam mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border around the edge. Bake until the crust is golden and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes.
Place the cooled crust on a clean pizza pan or large serving plate and sprinkle evenly with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the coconut.
Arrange the strawberry and kiwi slices on top to look like pizza toppings.
Sprinkle evenly with the remaining coconut.
Cut into 8 wedges and serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap, tented with toothpicks stuck into the pizza, and refrigerate for up to 3 hours before serving.
Nutrition information per serving: 208 calories; 56 calories from fat; 6g fat (1g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 1mg cholesterol; 35g carbohydrate; 4g protein; 3g fiber; 258mg sodium.