Create an unusual holiday dip for apples

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By Jim Bailey

I do realize many of you will not want to go purchase baby food for this recipe, and that would be a shame. While it is perfect for this dip, if you so desire, simply omit and add 2 additional tablespoons of maple syrup.

If you do decide to follow this recipe, purchase pureed plums, mixed fruit or apple baby food as a substitute. Mix it up! Nobody has to know our little secret.

Pumpkin dip filled mini-pumpkins.

Pumpkin dip filled mini-pumpkins.

3 mini pumpkins
2 cups Mascarpone or Neufchatel cheese, softened
1 cup solid pack pumpkin *
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 (4-ounce) jar pureed pear baby food
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie or apple pie spice
1 tablespoon almond or rum extract
3 apples

Cut the stem ends of each pumpkin off. With a spoon, dig out stringy flesh and seeds; set aside.

In the bowl of a table top mixer, or using a hand-held mixer, beat all ingredients except apples until it is smooth and silky. Equally divide among hollowed out pumpkins, loosely cover and refrigerate at least an hour. Wedge apples for dipping.

* Make sure you get a good brand of pumpkin. I use the cheaper brands in many recipes, but some store-brand packed pumpkin is too watery for this recipe.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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