Pumpkin-Shaped Cheese Ball for FallPosted on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | By Nicole Easterday |
It's that time of year when we want to gather up our harvest and treat our friends to something comforting and delicious.
I know I'm not the only one who loves this time of year - the pumpkins, the excited children, the cozy recipes re-appearing from the back of the binder.
I made this cheese ball for a Halloween party a couple of years ago and have been wanting to break the recipe back out again with a new twist. If you don't already know - a cheese ball is just what it sounds like - a ball of cheese.
There are about as many iterations as there are cheese ball makers and the beauty is that they all work out and (mostly) taste absolutely delicious!
Rather than being overwhelmed by the options, think about the flavors you like and mix them into some cheese - taste as you go, letting your tongue be your guide - et voilà!
Here is a recipe I made this week but, again, don't sweat the details. Mix a creamy cheese with a shredded one plus some seasonings you like and have a...errr...ball?
Pumpkin-shaped Cheese Ball
Makes 2 softball-sized cheese balls
- 16 oz fresh chèvre or fromage blanc (basically the cow version of chèvre)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp smoked (or plain) paprika
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp mustard (I used dijon)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup additional shredded orange cheddar to coat the surface
- 2 nice looking bell pepper stems
- Mix all ingredients together (except final 1/2 cup cheddar) and taste for salt & pepper.
- Split the mixture into two and shape each piece into a ball.
- Wrap the balls tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 3-4 hours
- Open the wrap and coat each ball in shredded cheddar, reserving a small amount for finishing touches
- Re-wrap the plastic around the ball and use your fingers to make ridges that resemble those on a pumpkin.
- Unwrap, re-shape as needed, adding extra cheddar to fill in any holes
- Place the stem on top and serve.
Will last about a week in your fridge, wrapped tightly. Enjoy!
Here's a video of the shaping that I hope helps. It really is quite easy!
Obviously your takeaway should be that this is more of a guide than a recipe. Part of the fun of a cheese ball is that you can probably just pick up some cheese and then mix in whatever you have on hand.
Some swaps you could use include:
- Cheese: Use cream cheese instead of fromage blanc or chèvre. Ricotta is the only one I'd advise agains since it tends to be a bit too wet to hold form. For the shredded cheese, use whatever you love and amp up the flavor to suit your audience. I used an apple cinnamon cheddar I picked up in Wisconsin and the orange color was really nice, but don't feel limited by that. Gruyère wouldn't be orange but would be delicious!
- Seasonings: I actually also love those little dried veggie packets from Knorr. They come in the little envelopes near the gravy and sloppy joe packets at the grocery.
- Theme: It would be easy to turn this little guy from a pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern by adding a face. Since you're already buying a bell pepper for the stem, use that - bonus is that they're super easy to carve. I've made a similar recipe for a hedgehog party, Christmas and more! Just re-adjust the shape.