A variety of dips can add special taste to fruit

Fruits and vegetables for u pic (you pick) food story. photo/wade spees. 4/12/2001 ..KEYW:FOOD ..KEYW:FEATURES

Most everyone enjoys “dressing up” from time to time, and the same idea extends to eating fruit. Fruits sheathed in a bit of a sweet creamy mix transcend their ordinary state and become special, especially if they weren’t all that sweet to begin with.

Dell Garvin of West Ashley asked about a good fruit dip to use with strawberries or blackberries, similar to those dips supermarkets offer to encourage sampling. She is thinking of a dip with sour cream or cream cheese or perhaps a combo.

Who knew there could be so many takes on fruit dips? Several of you responded to this request, and not one recipe was alike.

Let’s start with Maryanne E. Potter. Maryanne has lived in Efland, N.C., for a dozen years but grew up in Mount Pleasant and still has family here. She says she now lives close to a long-established farm, McAdams, where she is able to get fresh strawberries and lots of other wonderful veggies.

“This recipe is the bomb! I’ve had it for years and make it often during strawberry season and it’s always a hit. So easy and so good.”

Ingredients 4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon milk 1/4 teaspoon (or so) almond extract

Fresh strawberries 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

Directions In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sour cream, sugar, milk and extract; mix until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl; place the strawberries and crumbs in separate bowls. Dip the strawberries into the cheesecake mixture and then into the crumbs.

Deborah Currin of Daniel Island says this dip is wonderful with all kinds of fresh fruit.

Makes 3 cups Ingredients 2 cups milk

1 (3-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding

1 (8-ounce) container sour cream

1/8 cup orange liqueur 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

Directions Mix milk with pudding. Blend in sour cream, liqueur and orange zest. Chill.

Carolyn Blue of Charleston passes along a recipe from the previous food editor, Ann Mitchell Thrash. The recipe appears in Ann’s cookbook, “South Carolina: Always in Season.”

At the time she emailed the recipe, Carolyn wrote, “While reading your column this afternoon, my husband and I were eating strawberry scones with fresh strawberries sliced on top of them with this dip. My husband on Friday had brought me a gallon of strawberries from Orangeburg, so I’ve made strawberry dip, strawberry scones and a cobbler this weekend!”

Makes 1 cup Ingredients 1 cup sour cream

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 to 2 drops vanilla extract (almond extract or lemon extract can be substituted) (see cook’s note)

Directions Cook’s note: While the original recipe calls for “drops,” Carolyn uses 1 teaspoon.

Stir all ingredients together in a bowl and chill. Refrigerate until the sauce is well-chilled. Serve with whole fresh strawberries for dipping or spoon dollop of the sauce on top.

Dottie Schroeder of Mount Pleasant says this recipe with a tropical twist is probably from the 1970s and appeared in a Barbados cookbook.

Ingredients 3 eggs, slightly beaten

3/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon fresh grapefruit peel (zest)

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

11/2 cups light sour cream Directions

In a saucepan, combine the first three ingredients. Cook until thick. Remove and add the grapefruit peel and lemon juice. Cool a little while and stir in the sour cream. Refrigerate until ready to be used.

Joyce Medovic of Goose Creek shares her favorite fruit dip recipe. “May others find this just as enjoyable,” she writes.

Ingredients 1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow cream

1 (8-ounce) tub of nondairy whipped topping, such as Cool Whip (see cook’s note)

Directions: Cook’s note: The strawberry-flavored Cool Whip, if you can find it, gives a pretty pink presentation.

Mix the two ingredients together and serve with a tray of fresh strawberries or other fruits.

Diane Lamm of Mount Pleasant says her favorite recipe for a fruit dip also is very simple and tastes wonderful:

Ingredients 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 jar (6- to 7-ounces) marshmallow creme

1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur Directions

Combine the ingredients and serve. This can be prepared ahead.

Orange juice can be substituted for the Amaretto.

We have some challenging but interesting requests:

Sharon Cook of Charleston writes, “When I worked with some foreign students from Central America, they made a delicious nonalcoholic smoothie type beverage that featured cantaloupe and milk. I think they also made a simple syrup by cooking pineapple rind with sugar and water and then added that to the beverage mix. Would you see if any of your readers are familiar with the recipe?”

Mary Gainey of West Ashley is reading a book that made mention of Lasagna Carciofi, which is lasagna with artichokes. We wondered if any readers make this and can give a recipe.

If there’s a recipe you’ve lost, have memories of or a dish you are just wondering about, let us know. Email Food Editor Teresa Taylor at food@postandcourier.com.