Jezebel

I assume that this unique, fiery spread was named after the evil biblical temptress, but whatever its linguistic source, Jezebel, which has as many variations as pimento cheese and shrimp paste, seems to be indigenous to piedmont North Carolina. My sister made a wicked Jezebel, but this one, created by an old friend in Charlotte, has to be one of the best I’ve ever been served. I’ve never seen the spread even mentioned in the most comprehensive Southern cookbooks.

Ingredients

  • One 18-ounce jar pineapple preserves (or, if necessary, peach preserves)
  • One 10-ounce jar apple jelly
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • teaspoon salt
  • Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese

Method

In a large bowl, combine the preserves, jelly, and vinegar and stir till well blended. Add the horseradish, peppercorns, mustard, and salt and stir till well blended. Chill the spread, covered, at least 2 hours, then spoon it over the cream cheese on two crystal serving plates or trays and serve with assorted crackers.