This is one of the easiest and most loved holiday appetizers. All you need to do is whip up a little herbed cream cheese in a food processor or blender, and then pour over a half jar of The Old Mill’s Christmas Jam
. Something about the garlic, herbs, and saltiness of the cream cheese mixture known as “Boursin” partners just perfectly with the cranberries, pears, plums, oranges, and cinnamon in the sweet and irresistible jam. The cheese mixture makes enough for two rounds, so serve one and freeze the other. Or, gift it to a friend along with a jar of Christmas Jam! For big parties, make one large round, and cover it with the entire jar of jam.
Makes 8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 1 hour
1 small clove garlic, peeled
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives or dill
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Whole wheat crackers for serving
1. For the Boursin, drop the garlic clove into the bowl of a food processor or blender while the machine is running. Turn off the machine. Add the butter, cream cheese, chives or dill, parsley, salt, basil, thyme, and pepper. Blend in pulses until it is smooth.
2. Divide the mixture into two 5-ounce portions. Turn each portion into a ramekin or small bowl lined with plastic wrap. Press down on the mixture with a rubber spatula so that it packs into the ramekin or bowl. Cover the top with plastic wrap. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
3. To serve, unwrap one cheese mixture and turn out onto a platter. Spoon half of the contents of the Christmas Jam (about 2/3 cup) over the top. Serve with the whole wheat crackers of your choice. Store the other Boursin and rest of the jam in the refrigerator until time to serve again.
Note: In a pinch for a quick appetizer? Buy a 5-ounce round of Boursin cheese in the supermarket deli section, and pour a half jar of Christmas Jam over the top.