Over the Holidays, I decided to revisit this Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread recipe, which I’d originally posted a whole bunch of years ago…
Firstly, because I hadn’t made it in a while and really felt like putting this beauty on the table for New Year’s. Secondly, because I felt the pictures in the original post could use a little bit of a revamp and I also wanted to add a few process pictures while I was at it, and thirdly, because well, I felt that the instructions needed a little bit of simplifying.
With that in mind, I haven’t changed a thing to the recipe itself, except I added the step where the juice gets squeezed out of the pineapple, which in turn pretty much eliminated the need for letting the cheese mixture stand overnight before shaping it into a pineapple, as the original recipe would have you do.
All things considered, this is definitely an improved version of the initial post, although I’m not too sure about the photos… I think I preferred the originals!
Oh well! I might have to try again sometime… third time’s the charm, isn’t it?
Or so they say!
Until then, I hope that the updated, simplified instructions and step-by-step pictures will inspire you to make this spectacular-looking spread and place it proudly on the table at your next party!
When choosing your pineapple in prevision to make this spread, make sure to pick one that has a rather small top, otherwise it might end up looking a little bit out of proportion…
Trim that top off and then cut it in half lengthwise. Hang on to the nicest looking half and discard the other one.
Now finely chop about a cup of the pineapple flesh. You’ll need about a quarter of a large fruit, but this is not an exact science; you could add a little less, or a little more, depending on how much of the pineapple’s sweetness and flavor you want to add to your spread.
The real important thing is that you squeeze all the juice out of that pile of goodness… if you didn’t do that, your spread would be too soft to hold its shape and you’d have a really hard time turning it into a beautiful pineapple!
To do that, I like to use my trusty nut milk bag, but you could very well use a clean tea towel, or even a fine meshed sieve. Use whatever method works best for you, but be sure to get that pineapple really nice and dry.
You should end up with about 3/4 of a cup of chopped pineapple once it’s been well squeezed, depending on how juicy the fruit was to start with!
Next, in a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, lime juice, grainy mustard, white pepper and cayenne pepper…
Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is completely smooth and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Now add the reserved chopped pineapple, bell pepper, celery, pecans and parsley.
Note that you could use red bell pepper for a more festive look, sub walnuts for the pecans, add a pinch of chopped green onions, or even replace the parsley with cilantro, if you wanted to… just a few ideas, you know!
Stir everything together with a rubber spatula, until all the ingredients are well combined.
Turn the cheese mixture onto a large serving plate (be sure to choose one that’s big enough to accommodate the pineapple top as well) and shape the spread into a barrel, or flat football, or well, something that looks like a slightly flattened, halved topless pineapple.
Cover that shape with perfect pecan halves of similar sizes, starting at the bottom and working your way towards the top, slightly overlapping each new row and keeping the pecans nice and tight as you go.
You should need about 75 pecan halves to cover the entire body of the “pineapple”.
Finally, place the pineapple top at top to finish the effect; place your spread in the refrigerator until ready to serve, ideally at least 2 hours, to allow for flavors to develop.
Serve your spread with an assortment of crackers or thin slices of your favorite bread…
Leftovers will keep for up to a few days in the refrigerator, although a little softening of the pecans is to be expected.
- 1 package (227g | 8oz) cream cheese
- ½ cup (120ml) sour cream
- 1 cup (200g | 7oz) finely chopped fresh pineapple, squeezed dry
- ¼ large orange bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- ¼ cup (25g | 1oz) finely chopped raw pecans
- 3-4 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp Old Fashioned Grainy Mustard
- ¼ tsp ground white pepper
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 75-100 perfect pecan halves (to make the pineapple effect)
- Trim the top off your pineapple and cut it in half lengthwise. Hang on to the nicest looking half and discard the other one.
- Chop about a cup of the pineapple flesh (you'll need about a quarter of a large one) and then squeeze out as much juice as you can from it; reserve.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, lime juice, mustard, white pepper, cayenne pepper and mix with an electric mixture on medium speed until smooth and creamy in texture, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the reserved chopped pineapple, bell pepper, celery, pecans and parsley and stir with a rubber spatula until well combined.
- Turn this mixture onto a serving plate, (be sure to choose one that's big enough to accomodate the pineapple top as well) and shape the spread into a barrel.
- Cover with perfect pecan halves, starting at the bottom and working your way to the top, sligthly overlapping each new row and keeping the pecans nice and tight as you go.
- Place the pineapple top at top to finish the effect; refrigerate until ready to serve, ideally a couple of hours, to allow for flavors to develop.
And just for the record; here’s the original photo…