How Baking Works
MAKES ONE 12. INCH PIZZA
This recipe exists because of a wee boy called Elliott. My editor, the lovely Sarah Lavelle, is his mum.
Elliott invited me round for ‘dinner’ once during his first year at primary school. He was turning the house into a pop-up restaurant, achieving his lifelong ambition. I was thrilled to read ‘blueberry pizza’ on the blackboard menu.
The experience at Elliott’s restaurant was definitely 5-star (the sherry he served was especially excellent), but there was one disappointment: there wasn’t actually any blueberry pizza. I promised we’d make one together next time I visited. And this is it.
Despite involving a genoise sponge, three different types of superheated sugar and a blowtorch, this is an excellent recipe to bake with kids. Seriously. It’s healthy (well, it involves fruit, and you can use low-fat custard . . . ), fast and fun. You can take care of the potentially scalding stuff whilst the kids do all the whisking.
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You Will Need
Preheat your oven 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6. Line the bottom of the largest tin you own (I used a 12-inch springform tin) with baking paper, grease the sides and dust with plenty of flour.
Make the custard following the instructions on page 24, unless you’re using shop-bought.
For the sponge, weigh out the sugar, eggs and grated zest into a bowl. Using an electric mixer, whisk these together for at least 10 minutes until light, fluffy and almost stiff peaks. You can get the kids to do this.
Fold in the flour gently with a metal spoon until combined. Pour the mix into your prepared tin and spread it out evenly. Bake for 10 minutes on the middle shelf, or until light and springy.
Whilst the sponge is baking, make the jam. Put the frozen blueberries and sugar into a pan on a medium heat to melt the blueberries, then continue heating until they’ve broken down and the mixture is boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes to thicken, then remove from the heat and set aside.
Once the cake is ready, leave it to cool in the tin whilst you make the drizzle. Put the lemon juice and caster sugar into a pan on a high heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, and as soon as it is bubbling furiously, remove from the heat. Use a skewer to make little holes in the cake, then spread about half the drizzle on top with a pastry brush.
Transfer your drizzled cake onto a pizza board, then ‘upcycle’ the baking paper it was baked on by folding it and placing the flaked almonds on top. Return the pan with the remaining drizzle back to the heat (medium) and simmer until golden brown. Pour this onto the nuts and leave to set.
Spread the jam on top of your ‘pizza base’, almost to the edge. Then spread a thick layer of custard on top and sprinkle the whole thing with sugar. If desired, blowtorch the top for a browned, melted-cheese-style effect.
Scatter the fresh blueberries on top, and blowtorch these quickly to give them a shine (you could glaze them, but the former is quicker). Chop the almond praline into shards and lay these on top. Your pizza is now ready to enjoy.