Summer Fruit Pizza

Not sure why, but I've suddenly come over all Delia. I've posted stuff about just about everything else here over the past three years or so -- never had an unaccountable urge to post a recipe until now. Must be something to do with the heat.

I've whipped this up for friends three or four times so far this summer. Insanely easy to make and it's a hit every time.

Michael's (Barbecued) Fruit Pizza
[N.B. The first set of instructions, below, is for reading before the event. I've also included a quick & dirty method at the bottom, as a handy reference for use after a long afternoon of intensive "relaxation" with friends around the barbie].


Ingredients (for 4-6 generous portions)

1. Fruit. Lots of.
(Just grab a bunch of your favourite summer fruits. I like to mix up a couple of crisp apples and/or pears with two or three peaches, maybe some black plums, nectarines, a punnet of raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries - whatever lights yer candle. As a minimum, you should have something with a crunch, something soft and yummy, and some kind of berry or berries. Oh, and a lemon - you'll need at least one big lemon).

2. One large pizza base or flatbread (if you happen to be in Canada, I recommend one of these - and not just because of the very silly name). Ideally, you want something with a bit of a lip around the edge (helps to hold in all the yumminess).

3. A tub of Mascarpone (splurge on the Galbani if you really must, but the regular stuff is just as good for what we're going to do with it).

4. Fresh mint (if you have it handy - it's not essential, but adds a certain zing. Don't substitute with the dried stuff - that's just wrong).


1. About an hour or so before your guests arrive, pour yourself a nice glass of chardonnay, stick a CD on (Ella Fitzgerald, Evanescence, Al Green, or the Shrek 2 soundtrack all work equally well. Please - don't make the mistake of listening to Don Henley when you're cooking - your pizza will taste like wee. Honest).

2. Wash and chop your fruit (slice the apples, peaches and stuff into 8ths or 16ths depending on how big they are and how chunky you want it. Or just hack it roughly into bite-sized morsels. You the man now, dog - you don't need me telling you how to chop no dang fruit. Just don't chop the lemon. We'll get to that in a bit).

3. If you've found some really nice blackberries or redcurrants or something, keep about a handful of them to one side. Near the lemon. Which you still haven't used, right?

4. Bung everthing (except the lemon) into a big bowl and gently spoon it all around until it's well mixed.

5. Ok, now with the lemon. Roll it around on the board for a bit to get the juices flowing, cut it in half, and squeeze out the juice all over your other fruit.

6. "Accidentally" slop about half of your glass of wine into the fruit bowl. Bugger. Just have to have another glass...

7. Pop it into the fridge until you're ready to use it. The fruit, silly - not the wine. You need that right now (your guests arrive in half an hour, the kids have just come running in from the paddling pool, trailing water and grass cuttings all over the hardwood, and the dog's run off into the shrubbery with the entrée).

8. Chill. Open some more wine. Greet your guests. Fire up the barbecue and burn some chicken legs, cheesey sausages, rubbery burgers, tofu souvlaki - whatever you've got. Throw some more wine into them, they won't mind. The guests, that is; not the tofu. Then again...

9. When you're ready for puds: heat a large, clean, heavy frying pan over a medium flame. Our barbecue has one of those fancy-pants side burners, but you can do all this just as easily on your ordinary stove top (so now you understand the brackets around "barbecued" in the recipe title).

11. Warm a large plate and take the lid off the mascarpone.

12. While the pan is coming up to heat, figure out what you need to do with your pizza base - depending on whether you're doing everything on the barbecue or in the kitchen. You're going to have to time this next bit just right. The fruit's gonna take about five minutes - your base will probably take about the same time in the oven, or less if you're whacking it straight on a hot barbie.

13. Pour all the fruit into the pan. If your pan is good enough you shouldn't have to use any oil or butter. If you're really worried about sticking, you can use a tiny bit of very light oil on the pan - just don't over do it. We want to taste fruit here, not (ugh) canola.

14. Heat it through, stirring gently, until the fruit is steaming hot and the hard bits have just softened - about 5 minutes or so, no more. If you've got raspberries or blackberries in it, they may have turned to mush and disappeared. That's OK. It's their job.

15. If you're working the barbecue, now would be a good time to quickly heat that pizza base. You brushed all the chicken bits and lumps of charred tofu off the grill already, right?

16. Whip the base out onto your warmed plate. Quickly slather a load of the mascarpone onto the pizza base. Be generous - this is the good stuff.

17. Pour your hot fruit onto the pizza base. Sprinkle the extra, uncooked fruit and a small handful of ripped up mint leaves over the top.

18. Serve - with vanilla ice cream, if you fancy it.

19. Bask in the praise of your awed friends.

20. Send them to michaelocc.com for the recipe. Or not. I'll never know.

You're welcome.


1. Chop fruit.

2. Fry fruit.

3. Heat pizza base.

4. Spread poncy designer cheese onto pizza.

5. Lick fingers.

6. Pour hot fruit onto pizza base.

7. Eat.