Recipe: Apple pumpkin dessert pizza

by Melissa Jaramillo

Apple Pumpkin PizzaCalling all pumpkin lovers! It's fall and Halloween is quickly approaching. Crisp fresh apples and brilliant orange pumpkins abound, at least at our house.

Do you have a pumpkin kicking around or a stash of canned puree? Put it to good use and make up a pumpkin dessert pizza. Better yet, invite the kids to get in on the action!

Filled with cream cheese, apple, pumpkin and chopped nuts, this pizza extravaganza will delight the whole crowd!

Apple pumpkin dessert pizza

Prep time: 40 minutes | Total time: 20 minutes | Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

• 1 ball pumpkin roll-out dough (see Cook's note below) or 1 package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
• 1 cup pumpkin puree
• 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
• 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
• 1-1/2 tablespoons butter
• 1 cup apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup raw pumpkin, peeled and thinly sliced, optional
• 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
• 1 to 2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping, optional

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease a 12-inch pizza pan or large baking sheet.

Place the dough on the prepared pan. Allow it to soften for 10 minutes. Using your fingertips, pat the dough into a 9 to 10 inch circle.

While the dough bakes, melt the butter in a pan or the microwave. Pour over the apple and pumpkin slices and stir to coat. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside.

Bake until light golden brown, about 22 to 25 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool slightly.

In a small mixer bowl, beat the pumpkin puree, cream cheese, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon until smooth. Spread it over the pizza crust to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Add the apple and pumpkin slices. Sprinkle with the nuts.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with caramel topping if desired. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

Cook's Note

Here's a "dough" recipe that makes enough for two dessert pizzas or a pizza and a batch of rolled out cookies.

Pumpkin roll-out dough:
• 2 1/2 cups flour (you can use up to half whole-grain pastry flour or coconut flour)
• 2-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
• 3/4 cup butter, softened
• 1/3 granulated sugar
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1 egg or two egg yolks
• 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon orange zest

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Beat the butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat. Blend in the pumpkin puree, vanilla and zest. Stir in the flour mixture.

Divide into two balls and flatten slightly. Refrigerate the dough for two hours. Use one ball as the pizza dough. Roll the extra ball to 1/4 inch thick and cut into pumpkin shaped cookies, bake, cool and frost.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.