Bring Back The Cheese Ball

If you are looking for an easy and satisfactory recipe to use during the holiday in order to amaze your guests, you have just found the nibble you are looking for!

It ratches up flavours of dried fruits and cheeses, and it can be served for a major impact on a bed of bibb lettuce, surrounded by crackers: those encrusted cheese balls are just so hip and delicious they look unreal!

  • 8 ounces (room temperature) low fat cream cheese,
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded 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
  • mix thoroughly the cheeses together  in a large bowl, using a wooden spoon,
  • add 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
  • when the mix is smooth enough, add figs, apricots, cranberries, a little salt and nutmeg.
  • Divide and scrape the mix onto a large sheet of cling film and with your hands model it into a sort of pine cone shape.
  • Wrap each “pine cone” and let them rest in the fridge for at least a couple of hours
  • carefully unwrap and brush each cheese ball with a little bit of olive oil.
  • gently press the almonds onto the balls so to cover them completely and keeping the shape of a pine cone.
  • Gently brush the nuts with the melted jelly.
  • sieve and coat the top with confectioners sugar.
  • Serve at room temperature with plain crackers.

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