Strawberry Jam Cheese Ring
Chef Ashley McMakin, Ashley Mac’s in Birmingham, AL
“The Strawberry Jam Cheese Ring is one of my all time favorite appetizers to make — and eat,” says Chef Ashley McMakin of Ashley Mac’s in Birmingham, AL. “I love the sweet and savory combination, not to mention the beautiful presentation. It’s always a crowd pleaser!” Her version of this Southern classic is made with sharp cheddar cheese and includes toasted pecans. We love it because it’s both delicious and easy to prepare.
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 (8-oz.) blocks sharp Cheddar cheese, finely grated
- ½ cup strawberry preserves
- Assorted crackers
- Garnishes: chopped toasted pecans, fresh strawberries, strawberry flowers
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake the pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan for 8 to 10 minutes, or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool 15 minutes.
- Stir together the mayonnaise, hot sauce and garlic clove.
- Stir in the pecans and cheese.
- Spoon the mixture into a plastic wrap-lined 4-cup ring mold with a 2½-inch center.
- Cover and chill 2 hours.
- Unmold the cheese ring onto a serving platter. Discard the plastic wrap.
- Fill the center of the ring with preserves. Serve with crackers. Garnish, if desired.
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