I don’t often make savory jello molds because they are usually not very well received. This one, made for a southern food themed dinner party, was the exception and was devoured in minutes by party guests for whom this reminded them of their southern upbringing, myself included. Pimento Cheese spread is a southern comfort food favorite with varying recipes. Normally it calls for mayo, but I made mine with cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, pimentos, cayenne pepper, and just enough gelatin to give it some shape but still be spreadable. I was inspired to create this mold by Nicole Lang’s Kickstarter film project Pimento Cheese, Please! The film production team hits the road this month for the Charleston, SC area in search of folks to interview on the topic. So if you have any pimento cheese related insights or experiences contact Nicole – pimentocheeseplease [at] gmail [dot] com. She’d love to hear from you!
Pimento Cheese “Jell-O”
1 tablespoon (1 envelope) of unflavored gelatin powder
1/4 cup water
1 cup (8 ounce brick) of cream cheese, very softened
3 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 heaping spoon full of mayo
1 pinch of garlic powder
1 or 2 pinches of cayenne pepper
1 (4 ounce) jar of pimento
In a large bowl, sprinkle gelatin evenly over the water and allow the gelatin to absorb the water for two minutes. Add the cream cheese, cheese, mayo, garlic, and pepper. Beat with and electric mixer until smooth. Stir in pimentos and spoon into a 5 cup mold. Refrigerate overnight until firm.
To unmold, dip the mold up to the brim in a sink full of warm water for 15 seconds. Cover with a plate and invert. If the cheese does not come loose, dip it in the hot water again.
Garnish with crackers and serve.
Makes 4 1/2 cups