Miniature Wisconsin Blue Cheese
Balls with Winter Fruit
- 30 dried apricots
- 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup coarsely
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks and at room temperature
- 3 ounces (3/4 cup) Wisconsin Blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon French brandy*
- 1/2 tablespoon grated yellow onion
- Place the apricots in a sauce pan. Add water barely to cover. Stir in vanilla
extract. Bring the apricots to a boil, uncovered, and simmer until
tender, 1-4 minutes, depending on the dryness of the apricots. Test with a fork.
The apricots should be tender but not limp.
- Drain and dry well. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Spread the pecans on a baking sheet.
- Toast the pecans for 4-5 minutes, until aromatic. Stir after 2 minutes and
watch so the nuts do not scorch.
- Remove and pour pecans on waxed paper to cool.
- Whirl the pecans in a blender or food processor until very fine. Set aside.
- Place the Cream Cheese, Wisconsin Blue cheese and brandy in the bowl of
a food processor.
- Pulse until all ingredients are well blended.
- Add the onion and pulse briefly to incorporate. (You may also blend the
mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer.)
- Remove mixture to a bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Remove cheese mixture from refrigerator.
- Form miniature balls and dip tops in pecans.
- Place on an apricot, nut side up.
- Repeat until all mixture is used. The mixture is soft – if too soft, spoon
onto apricots, rounding the top and sprinkle with apricots.
Yield: about 30 miniature balls
* If a nonalcoholic mixture is preferred, substitute sherry extract. Start with
1/4 teaspoon and add to taste.
This mixture is a terrific filling for stewed dried plums (prunes) and Majool
dates. Make a party plate with all winter fruits – apricots, dried plums and dates
– for variety.
Reprinted with permission from
© 2008 Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.