May 6, 2019

Pecan Cheddar Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves

Rosalynn Carter’s vintage appetizer recipe for a pecan and cheddar cheese ring with a slight hint of heat with strawberry preserves in the center served with crackers.

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Though Husband is from Canada, he does have one brother who lives here in South Carolina too. Actually, he and his family live in the same town as we do.

Even though they only live about 10 miles away, we just don’t see them as often as we’d like. Which sucks because I really like them but that’s just the way life works sometimes.

Their kids are older than ours so I think that’s probably factored into how little we see them. Our lives still very much revolve around what our kids are doing. Every single family that we spend time with - literally all of our friends - are people whose kids play (or played) sports with our kids.

Anywho, we decided last year that we are going to do better at spending time together so we spent Easter together this year! Which was great for both our families. I lost my dad and my sister-in-law, Deb, lost her mom last year so all of our family holidays could use some changing up.

Pecan Cheddar Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves | Rosalynn Carter’s vintage appetizer recipe for a pecan and cheddar cheese ring with a slight hint of heat with strawberry preserves in the center served with crackers.

OK, enough with my family sagas, let’s get to the food!

While we were visiting and getting the food ready for Easter dinner, Deb set out an appetizer that I couldn’t quite identify but was instantly intrigued by!

I could tell it was some sort of cheese spread and I could see pecans (great start so far!) and it looked like there was strawberry preserves all around it… what in the world kind of cheese sorcery was this?! Note: Deb served hers as a cheese log instead of a ring so she just spooned the preserves around the outside.

I grabbed a cracker then spooned some cheese mixture onto it while scooping a little smear of preserves too, popped it in my mouth then absolutely fell in love! Like, seriously, fell in love!

Pecan Cheddar Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves | Rosalynn Carter’s vintage appetizer recipe for a pecan and cheddar cheese ring with a slight hint of heat with strawberry preserves in the center served with crackers.


The pecans and strawberry preserves worked together to make pure-T cheese magic! The chunky texture from the pecans with the creamy cheese made for the best combination then the sweet preserves with the sharp cheese and hint of heat was the flavor contrast that brought it all home for the win.

I literally could not stop eating it. I had to get up and go watch the hockey game so I wasn’t even in the same room. Side note: I bet nobody else south of the Mason-Dixon line was watching hockey on Easter Sunday! Am I right or amiright?

I think Deb was a little shocked that I, being a born and bred Southerner, didn’t know about this recipe. Especially since she’s from Chicago and did know about it. Deb explained where the recipe originated.

Pecan Cheddar Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves | Rosalynn Carter’s vintage appetizer recipe for a pecan and cheddar cheese ring with a slight hint of heat with strawberry preserves in the center served with crackers.

This is a version of a family recipe from former first lady Rosalynn Carter, President Jimmy Carter’s wife. It’s sometimes known as Rosalynn Carter’s Plains Georgia Cheese Ring. And understandably, it’s very popular in Georgia!

According to what I’ve read in an old Washington Post article, veteran white house French chef, Roland Mesnier was none too pleased when Mrs. Carter insisted the cheese ring be added to the White House buffet menu.

From what I gather he didn’t seem to like any of the family recipes his president’s wives wanted to bring with them (from the Carters to the Reagans to the Bush families to the Clintons). His refined French palate must have been too fancy-pantsy to enjoy good food like this.

Whatever.

Pecan Cheddar Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves | Rosalynn Carter’s vintage appetizer recipe for a pecan and cheddar cheese ring with a slight hint of heat with strawberry preserves in the center served with crackers.

When I set out to make this for y’all this weekend I found several recipes online that all differed slightly but I knew I wanted to make mine exactly like Deb had made hers because it was absolute perfection.

PERFECTION, I TELL YA!

I asked then she jotted her recipe down for me. The actual recipe is below but I thought you’d like to see some of her notes:
  • Do not to use Miracle Whip. Oh, Deb, do you even know me at all??
  • You can make this several days in advance but Deb recommends not mixing the pecans in (they probably soften up too much) and to instead just press them onto the ring before serving.
  • You can use all different flavors of preserves (my brother-in-law loves raspberry!).
  • Don’t use pre-shredded cheese. Her note actually reads, “I know you know this but pre-shredded cheese really doesn’t work for this. It ruins the texture.” Roger that, sis.
  • Do toast the pecans.
Pecan Cheddar Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves | Rosalynn Carter’s vintage appetizer recipe for a pecan and cheddar cheese ring with a slight hint of heat with strawberry preserves in the center served with crackers.

I rarely ever toast nuts or coconut before using in recipes, but, like I said, I wanted to make mine exactly like Deb had made hers so I did. And it was totally worth it.

I also noticed Deb’s pecan pieces were pretty chunky so I didn’t use my nut grinder to chop the pecans but instead rough-chopped them with a knife.

I hope y’all enjoy this recipe as much as I have! I made it to share with you here and then I made it again to take to Mama’s house for Sunday dinner and just about hurt myself both times because I couldn’t stay out of it!


Pecan Cheddar Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves


Yield: 35-45 Appetizer Sized Portions
Author:
prep time: 15 Mcook time: total time: 15 M

ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 small onion, grated (see notes)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Strawberry preserves

instructions:

How to cook Pecan Cheddar Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves

  1. Toast pecans in a large skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and slightly browned. Remove pecans from skillet to cool. Set aside a few tablespoons to garnish the cheese ring before serving if desired.
  2. Shred cheese then add to a large mixing bowl. Add grated onion, mayo, cayenne pepper and toasted pecans then mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Spoon cheese mixture onto a serving plate then shape into a ring. This isn’t as hard as it sounds – I easily shape mine using a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  4. Remove cheese ring from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. When ready to serve, spoon strawberry preserves into the center of the ring. Serve with crackers.

NOTES:

If your onion puts off a lot of liquid after being grated (most do), squeeze the excess liquid out with your hands. I grab a few fistfuls at a time then squeeze or place all of the onion between my hands then press them together.
You absolutely must shred your own cheese for this recipe – do not use pre-shredded cheese.
Toasting the pecans isn’t mandatory but it makes for better texture and flavor.
I run a few tablespoons of roasted pecans through my nut grinder to sprinkle on top as a garnish before serving.
rosalynn carter, cheese ring, appetizer, pecans, plains georgia, recipe, vintage, mayonnaise, mayo, cheddar, strawberry, preserves, jelly, jam, how to, toasted, best, original, onions
Created using The Recipes Generator


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This recipe was shared at the Weekend Potluck and Meal Plan Monday!

Rosalynn Carter’s vintage appetizer recipe for a pecan and cheddar cheese ring with a slight hint of heat with strawberry preserves in the center served with crackers.


9 comments:

  1. My folks and I were enjoying some Chicken Salad Chick last night, and after having a bite of their yummy pimento cheese, Mom commented that it would be good with some strawberry jelly. Then asked me if I remembered when she used to make that cheeseball recipe with strawberry jelly that was Rosalyn Carter's recipe. What are the chances that it gets posted the very next day?? So cool. Definitely going to pin this one for future reference. Thanks!

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    1. WHOA! That is bizarre! And awesome! And now I think I'm going to have to try a little jelly with my pimento cheese sandwich next time!

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  2. That is awesome!

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  3. Seems like there should be cream cheese in here somewhere. I can't see how mayo and cheddar cheese can stay together to form a ring.

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  4. Hey there! I made this yesterday for an event today. Let me tell you, this is one of the best things I have EVER made. To the above comment-just follow the recipe. The mayo holds it all together. Make it exactly like Mandy states. Don't change a thing. AND shred that cheese! This is a game changer for me and may become my potluck go to from now on. It just LOOKS fancy and has it got flavor! Thanks Mandy!!!

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    1. WOW! Thank you!! This is one of those recipes that sneaks up on you because you're not expecting to LOVE IT so much!

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  5. I was just thinking the recipe sounds like it would taste like pimento cheese. My oldest son liked pimento cheese sandwiches with strawberry jam. This recipe is a winner for me.

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  6. Please clarify the comment about Miracle Whip. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I, like most Southerners, prefer mayo over Miracle Whip (and for me it has to be Duke's).

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Hi there! While I'm not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven't been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments. And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y'all! - Mandy