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Cheese Ring with Basil-Blackberry Preserves

Hands-on time 20 mins
Total time 2 hrs, 45 mins
Yield Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 (8-oz.) blocks sharp Cheddar cheese, finely grated*
  • 1/2 cup blackberry preserves
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tsp. chopped fresh basil
  • Assorted crackers
  • Garnishes: chopped toasted pecans, fresh strawberries, strawberry flowers

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool 15 minutes.

  2. Stir together mayonnaise and next 2 ingredients. Stir in pecans and cheese.

  3. Spoon mixture into a plastic wrap-lined 4-cup ring mold with a 2 1/2-inch center. Cover and chill 2 hours.

  4. Unmold cheese ring onto a serving platter. Discard plastic wrap. Stir together blackberry preserves and basil. Fill center of ring with blackberry preserves mixture. Serve with crackers. Garnish, if desired.

  5. *Sharp white Cheddar cheese may be substituted.

Ashley Mac's, Birmingham, Alabama