I’m not exactly sure of the first time I had Rosalynn Carter’s cheese ring. My Aunt Tammy is responsible for introducing me to this quirky appetizer straight outta Plains, Georgia from Georgia’s only First Lady. The first time I asked her to share the recipe, she said “you aren’t gonna believe what’s in it!” She was right. Nothing about this recipe makes sense, but it all comes together beautifully for a savory-sweet combination that will have your guests asking for the recipe. Rumor has it that President and Mrs. Carter even served this to guests at the Whitehouse; if it’s good enough for the Carter’s, it’s good enough for me! I made it for our family Thanksgiving. I also served it at my cousin’s bridal shower. Unsurprisingly, it was once again a hit. Allow me to introduce you to Rosalynn Carter’s Cheese Ring.
In my opinion, the part that really sets this dish off is the strawberry preserves. That said, my Aunt Tammy and I talked about testing out other flavors. Let me know if you’ve ever made it with something different!
- Sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated – 1 pound (Do this yourself, don’t skimp with pre-grated cheese.)
- Mayonnaise, 1 cup (I prefer Duke’s, but you do you.)
- Chopped pecans – 1 cup + approximately 1/2 cup or so to press into the outside of the ring
- Finely chopped onion – 1/2 cup
- Freshly ground black pepper – 1/4 teaspoon
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- Your favorite strawberry preserves – 1 12 oz jar
- Variety of crackers for serving. (We always opt for Ritz and Townhouse crackers, but this recipe will work with almost anything!)
How to Make Rosalynn Carter’s Cheese Ring
Combine cheese, mayonnaise, pecans, and onions. Add in black pepper and cayenne, mixing well.
Press mixture into a 3-ring cup mold and chill in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 hours.
To serve, dip the mold into hot water for 30 seconds and turn it onto a serving platter. (Note: I didn’t have jello mold, so I put mine into a round bowl to chill overnight. Then, I removed it, covered it with cling wrap, and pressed it into the shape I wanted.) Press 1/2 cup (give or take) of chopped pecans into the outside of the ring. Pour your strawberry preserves into the center of the mold and serve immediately with a variety of crackers.
It’s that easy! While the ingredients feel a little weird, give this one a shot. It is always a hit with our family and guests. What is your secret weapon recipe? Tell me in the comments below!