While this is a recipe that works well year round, I find myself turning to it most often in the spring and summer when fruit is at its best.
This is a recipe that my sister’s best friend gave to her in 6th grade. The two of them are now in their early 40s, still close friends, and still make this when they get together.
1/2 C butter (margarine also works)
3/4 C granulated sugar
1 1/4 C plus 2 tbls flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
Pat dough into round pizza pan or 10×15" baking sheet - unoiled - and bake at 350-degrees until golden brown.
Let cool to room temperature.
Beat until smooth:
12 oz soft cream cheese
2/3 C granulated sugar
2 tbls fruit juice (either orange or reserved from canned fruit)
Set aside in fridge.
This is totally up to your preferences and/or what’s at the peak of ripeness. Go for a total of 4-6 C of assorted fruits.
The original recipe suggested a combination of strawberries, kiwis, bananas, pineapple, and canned/drained Mandarin oranges.
I’ve done a “tropical fruits” version, which is excellent, but my favorite is fresh peaches (peeled and sliced) and fresh blackberries/raspberries.
In the fall I’ve made this with a mixture of apples, persimmons, and … something I’m now forgetting - all simmered together with small amount of sugar, some cinnamon and nutmeg, and a bit of a cornstarch slurry to thicken the juices.
Melons are not great with this recipe (too juicy!).
ASSEMBLY AND SERVING
If you’re thinking the dessert will be consumed at one sitting, then assemble just before serving.
Spread the cream cheese mixture over cooled crust and top with fruits. If you’re artistically minded, you can lay out the fruits in concentric circles and such. Then cut into wedges and enjoy.
(I am not artistically minded, so I just prep all the fruits in one bowl and spoon over the crust/frosting - if the fruit was prepped beforehand I use a slotted spoon so as not to make it too soggy.)
If you’re thinking this will not be eaten at once, I suggest cutting the crust into individual servings and frosting/topping them separately.
When my sister and her friend make this, they use a 9×13" glass baking dish and frost/top with the fruit - whatever isn’t eaten goes in the fridge; the crust softens and the fruit can lose a lot of freshness this way, so I don’t do it.
Instead, I cut the crust into serving size pieces and layer those in a tub or zippered bag with waxed paper between. Fruit and frosting are stored separately in the fridge.
Also, original recipe says it’s okay to use a mixture of fresh, frozen, and canned fruits. I’ve used frozen blueberries and canned Mandarin oranges but not other frozen or canned fruits.