ORIGINAL RECIPE: This recipe has been around, but I merged it with other recipes and kitchen knowledge to come up with the more natural version
TIMING: 5 minutes, as long as your cream cheese is at room temperature
TOOLS: A small or medium food processor for the first version. For the second, a stand mixer, heavy sauce pan, and a candy thermometer
COOK TYPE: None for the first, stovetop for the second
HEALTH: Occasionally I let a recipe of mine break the rules. The last one I published on this blog was No-Heat Quesadilas for camping, which used Easy Cheese. I sometimes serve my kids Nutella sandwiches. And this is another family favorite that breaks the rules by using marshmallow creme. Not only is marshmallow creme all sugar, it’s some sort of processed sugar with a few other somewhat-unnatural ingredients, although, like Easy Cheese, Cheese Whiz, nacho cheese, and Nutella, it has a relatively small amount of questionable ingredients (and, last time I checked, no MSG).
There is some protein and it encourages kids (and adults) to eat more fresh fruit.
But, for your edification, I also included a more complicated, redeemed version of this dip. If it is important to you, this is a great recipe to accomplish all the things I talk about below.
EXPERIENCE: When creating a smorgasbord for any kids’ party, I almost always include a heaping tray of fresh fruit with this very appealing, simple, easy fruit dip. It helps encourage the kids to add some fruit to their plate of munchies and sweets. (I also include a tray of cute, colorful, kid-friendly veggies with a bowl of ranch dressing or dip). Both the fruit dip and the ranch dip can be dyed (naturally (like with blueberries, avocado, or beets) or otherwise) to make them even more appealing.
So, not surprisingly, I added this dip to my daughter’s fashion birthday party finger foods table, dyed it pink, and served it with exotic, tropical fruits.
NOTES: This dip can be served with almost any fruit. Change the fruits according to season, availability, cost, and–where applicable–theme. It also works to serve with toothpicks.
BASICALLY CHEATING FLUFFY FRUIT DIP
- Leave 1 bar cream cheese out until it has come to room temperature.
- In a small or medium food processor, combine the bar of cheese with 1 jar marshmallow creme. Puree until evenly combined and smooth.
NATURAL, FROM-SCRATCH FLUFFY FRUIT DIP
- In a clean, cool bowl on your stand mixer, whisk over medium 2 large egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar until forming soft peaks. Set aside.
- In the meantime, in a heavy sauce pan, bring 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup natural corn syrup, 1/4 cup water, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil. Bring temperature to 240F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and proceed immediately to the following step.
- Turn the mixer back on to low, and slowly drizzle in 2 teaspoons of the sugar mixture. Then patiently drizzle in the rest of the mixture. Turn the speed to medium-high and whip about 7 minutes, until it is stiff and glossy.
- Add 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract (the real kind) and whip 2 more minutes.
- Store all but 2 cups of the mixture, to which you will beat in 1 softened bar of natural cream cheese.
Serve with a platter of fresh fruit. Pineapple and strawberries are ideal.