Mary Ann's Blog

Bring Back The Cheese Ball

Remember the holiday nut encrusted cheese ball sitting majestically on a throne of Bibb lettuce and surrounded by crackers? It’s back and looking ever so hip with new flavor nuances. I like to ratch up the flavor with dried fruits like figs and apricots but cranberries, dates and dried pear would be nice too. I lighten the taste with mascarpone cheese instead of all cream cheese. This is the perfect holiday nibble and a cinch to make. 

8 ounces low fat cream cheese, at room temperature
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
½ cup finely chopped dried figs
½ cup diced dried apricots
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 cups roasted and coarsely chopped pistachio nuts
Crackers for serving

Combine the cheeses, 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil, figs, apricots, salt and nutmeg in a bowl.

Scrape the mixture onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and with your hands form into a ball or other shape like a pineone. Wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.  

Place the nuts on a large sheet of wax paper

Unwrap and brush the ball with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil then roll to coat the ball in the nuts. Press gently so nuts adhere. Serve at room temperature with crackers.

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