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The nutty, blue cheese mixture makes a
terrific filling for stewed dried apricots, plums (prunes) and
Majool dates. Make a party plate with assorted winter fruits
Miniature Blue Cheese
Balls with Winter Fruit
- 30 dried apricots
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
4 ounces cream cheese cut in chunks and 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. 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°F (190°C).
- Spread the pecans on a baking sheet. Toast
the pecans for 4 to 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, 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 nuts.
Makes about 30 miniature balls.
*If a nonalcoholic mixture is preferred,
substitute sherry extract. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and add to
Recipe and photograph provided courtesy
of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.
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