A Dip For All Fruits

It's not every day I'm asked to make a fruit platter (with dip). But on the occasion of my future-lil-sister-in-law Erica's high school graduation party, I was honored to have been. The fruit was simple enough of course, as I chopped away at a bunch of honeydew and cantaloupe and arranged them on the platter with a myriad of strawberries, blueberries and Michigan cherries. I even added a little height and character to the platter by taking one of the honeydew rinds and carving an “09” into it (like a pumpkin) and standing it up as a backdrop for the fruit.

It looked pretty so far, but needed a dip to make the fruit have a little more pizzazz. I had a perfect bowl for the dip – my hollowed out half of cantaloupe – and I set to work on the dip by investigating the fridge. I gathered together vanilla yogurt, vanilla extract, honey, pure orange oil (you could just use orange zest) and a lemon. I used about twelve ounces of stirred vanilla yogurt and added a tablespoon of vanilla extract, the juice and zest of half a lemon, a few drops of orange oil (or the zest of half an orange) and two-ish tablespoons of honey. Of course with sweetness and saltiness, I always add to taste and never to blind measurements. I think I went a little over two tablespoons and it was lightly sweet.

I stirred it all together and found it to be a little thin, which led me to try thickening it with a little whipped cream cheese and skim milk, beat into the yogurt mixture. The dip came out fine, but I don't believe the cream cheese added much to the flavor and it didn't even thicken it all that much.

Still, the final product was cool, smooth, tangy and sweet and tasted very nice with all of the fruits. And it looked absolutely fantastic in the cantaloupe bowl I created and centered in the middle of the platter. I think the fruit eaters at the party were pleased by the dip, and I saw many coming back for more. Success, for me, since it came off the top of my head.

The thinness/cream cheese issue left me a little dissatisfied. I think next time I would plan ahead more and strain the yogurt over a paper-towel-lined strainer and bowl overnight in the fridge. This would eliminate much of the water in the yogurt and create a great thickness and concentration of flavor, almost like a soft cheese. That's my vision for next time, but for this time, it still seemed to work quite well.

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