|Festive Christmas Cheeseball with Boursin Cheese, Cranberry Cheddar, Aged Gruyere, Caramelized Walnuts, Crispy Sage, Chives, + Rolled in Pomegranate Arils|
For the Festive Cheeseball:
4T Unsalted Butter, Melted
16 Fresh Sage Leaves
1 Round of Boursin Cheese, Softened
8oz Cream Cheese, Softened
6oz Cranberry Cheddar, Shredded
6oz Aged Gruyere, Shredded
1C Caramelized Walnuts
¼C Fresh Minced Chives (or more if you please)
Fresh Cracked Pepper, To Taste
1C Fresh Pomegranate Arils (enough to cover the ball; dried cranberries are a good substitute)
Various Styles of Crackers, For Serving
1. Frying the Sage: Heat a skillet over medium heat and add butter. Once it's sizzling, toss in the sage leaves and cook until crispy - flipping once and cooking about 1 minute per side. Remove the sage leaves and place them on a paper towel to crisp up a bit. Set the butter aside.
2. Making the Cheeseball: In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, mascarpone and cheddar cheese. Beat until combined, and then add in the almonds, sage leaves, remaining butter, salt and pepper. Mix on low speed until combined, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides and the bottom if needed. Take the cheese mixture out of the bowl and mold it into a big ball as best you can. Roll it in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Prepping the Pomegranate: Meanwhile, place the arils on a paper towel and pat them completely dry. Let them sit out while the cheese is chilling to remove as much liquid from them as possible. This will keep the cheeseball pretty, and not wet or slimy.
4. Finishing the Cheeseball: After 30 minutes, mold the cheese into more of a smooth ball. Add the arils to a plate or baking sheet and roll the ball through them, using your hands to press arils into all the cracks and crevices. You will need to gently press so the arils adhere to the cheese. At this time, you can serve it immediately or keep it in the fridge until ready to use. If you want to make it ahead of time, you can rolls the ball 1 to 2 days beforehand. I'd wait until the night before or morning of to add the pomegranate arils, and you may need to let the cheese come to room temp a bit so it's sticky enough.
5. Serve with various types of crackers and enjoy with friends + family!