2 pkg (3-oz size) cream cheese
2/3 cup prepared mustard
2 1/2 lb natural sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 jar (2 oz) small pimiento-stuffed olives, drained
1 fresh green pineapple frond
1. In large bowl of electric mixer, combine cream cheese and mustard: beat, at medium speed, until well blended.
2. At low speed, gradually beat in grated cheese, to combine well.
3. Turn mixture onto wooden board. With hands, knead until smooth and pliable.
4. Refrigerate cheese mixture until chilled and able to be molded – about 45 minutes.
5. With hands, roll mixture into a cylinder. Place cylinder flat on cookie sheet; underside will be back of “pineapple.”
6. Mold into pineapple shape, about 5 1/2 inches long, 15 inches around at widest part, 10 1/2 inches at narrowest part.
7. cut olives crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Carefully place olive slices on cheese in straight horizontal rows, arranging them so vertical rows run on diagonal (see photograph).
8. Using a wooden pick make diagonal lines, 1/8 inch deep, between rows of olive slices.
9. Cover with saran. Refrigerate, still on cookie sheet, until serving time (overnight, if desired).
10. To serve: With broad spatula, carefully remove cheese-pineapple from cookie sheet to serving platter, standing it upright on broadest end. (Flat side becomes the back of the pineapple.)
11. Place pineapple frond on top. Surround with small crackers, for spreading. Let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes before serving.
Makes enough to spread 180 crackers.
I don’t understand the dimensions in step 6 – they seem a little bizarre. Just mold your cheese into something that looks like half a pineapple, approximately life size. I didn’t bother to stand it up – I thought it looked better laid out on a platter (also easier to dig into).
If I was going to make this again, I’d add more stuff to it to make it more interesting – like chopped onion. I’d also use less mustard.
It makes a lot of cheese ball, so if you’re not serving a big crowd you’re going to have a lot left over.