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 (about 6)
½ cup diced dried apricots (about 6)
½ cup dried cranberries, raisins or cherries or a combination
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 cups whole roasted almonds
2 tablespoons melted and cooled apple jelly or marmalade
Confectioners sugar for sprinkling
Crackers for serving

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

Divide and scrape the mixture onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and with your hands form into a pine cone shape. Wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Unwrap and brush each cheese with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Press the almonds into the cheese, covering it completely and keeping the shape of a pine cone.

Gently brush the nuts with the melted jelly. Use a small sieve and coat the top in confectioners sugar. Serve at room temperature with plain crackers.

Comments

  1. Michhele's avatar

    Michhele

    Beautiful!!!!
  2. Ella Belle's avatar

    Ella Belle

    That is the most awesome looking cheese ball that I have ever seen! And, yes! It looks exactly like a snow dusted pine cone! I live in Idaho so I know what those look like! Thank you for the recipe and that photo! I'm making one this week!

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