Mahon-Menorca Pinwheels with Fig Jam & Serrano Ham will be the appetizer that your whole family is clamoring for on Thanksgiving. Packed with flavor and quick to make – this appetizer is a winner.
This post for Mahon-Menorca Pinwheels with Fig Jam & Serrano Ham is sponsored by Mahon-Menorca Cheese. Thank you for supporting a brand who helps keep Innocent Delight alive. #MahonCheese
These Mahon-Menorca Pinwheels with Fig Jam & Serrano Ham are phenomenal! Two types of Mahon-Menorca Cheeses blend together to create a really decadent experience. Spaniards have long since liked to eat their Mahon-Menorca Cheese with fruit spreads, so for my Pinwheels I decided to use a Fig Jam and Serrano Ham to preserve the authenticity of this Spanish experience.
I must admit, that Serrano Ham isn’t very easy to find. It’s usually carried by specialty stores. I have couple of good grocery stores with high-end ingredients that I frequent, and they weren’t caring it. However, for my husband birthday we discovered a new tapas bar near us, so we decided to stop by for a glass of wine. Little did we know, they had an adjacent specialty deli store which was selling Spanish and Italian goods that are otherwise very difficult to find. And guess what, they had my Serrano Ham.
However, if you don’t have any Spanish specialty stores nearby, I suggest substituting with Prosciutto. They’re both cured hams and the tastes aren’t dramatically different. Serrano is a little gamier and less salty but don’t stress about it. Prosciutto will do well in this recipe as well. After all it’s not a featured ingredients of these Pinwheels. Rather Mahon-Menorca Cheese is, and it isn’t difficult to find. There are number of stores which carry it in US, including:
- West Side Market,
- Gourmet Garage,
- Central Markets,
- Central and
- Town & Country Markets.
So, let’s talk a little bit about the cheese…
Mahon-Menorca Cheese is a product with a Protected Guarantee of Origin (“P.G.O”). What does that mean? It means that this is a product which is very closely related to the geographic area where it is produced – the island of Menorca. The geographic and climatic factors, as well as process of making and aging the cheese (the process has remained unchanged for a long time in farms and it follows ancient practices), affect he final balance and flavor of the cheese. On the island the agriculture tradition is carried on by family farms. The landscape is divided by stone walls, to allow the cattle graze freely. All of this has helped for Menorca to be declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Isn’t awesome? And you’ll taste it in the cheese!
The history of Mahon-Menorca Cheese is also fascinating. Some of the found pottery remains suggest that the cheese was produced on the island even as early as 3000 BC (talk about long tradition). By the 13th century their foreign trade was already important but it wasn’t until the British rule that the name “Mahon” was first used, which was the name of the product’s shipping port. In 1985 The Guarantee of Origin was conferred, and then in 1997 its protected denomination changed and become “Mahon-Menorca”.
Depending on its degree of maturity, the P.G.O. covers the following types of cheeses:
- TENDER. Soft and creamy. Yellowish-white in color, with very little developed crust. Its taste is milky with a slight reminiscence of butter. It’s aged for 21-60 days.
- SEMI-CURED. Characteristic and unmistakable. The crust is orange, and the cheese is firm yet easy to cut, showing irregular holes. Its milky tastes and flavors are more developed with reminiscences of toasted nuts and dried fruit. Its aged for 2-5 months.
- CURED. A delicacy for cheese connoisseurs. Its texture is firm and hard. It’s less creamy and in advanced stages of maturity – it breaks, flaking upon being cut. It has a very developed flavor and aroma, complex and intense. Aged more than 5 months.
There is also a new one, a Traditional Style cheese made with Raw Milk that’s aged for 6 months. It is very complex and intense. It can be wonderful if served with fruit or a fruit spread on your Holidays cheese board.
Now coming back to this super easy and super delicious recipe for Mahon-Menorca Pinwheels with Fig Jam & Serrano Ham. Below I put together a little tutorial on how to make them. At the end of this post is also a printable recipe. For this recipe I used the Semi-Cured and Cured cheeses. I sliced the first one and shred the latter. You can actually shred both but I wanted to showcase in the recipe the use of both cheeses. Semi-Cured is hard enough to slice but it’s also soft enough to roll, so it was perfectly fine to just slice it.
- Defrost your puff pastry according to instructions;
- Place your puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface and roll it out a little bit;
- Spread fig jam all over the pastry leaving approximately a half inch from the edges;
- Add slices of Serrano Ham and shredded Cured Mahon-Menorca cheese;
- Top it with either sliced or shredded Semi-Cured Mahon-Menorca cheese;
- Start rolling up your puff pastry from one side towards the middle, then stop and start rolling from the other side to meet in the middle;
- Wrap the roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, but ideally for 40 minutes;
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees; Cut about half-inch slices and place them on baking sheet with parchment paper about 1 inch apart; Bake for 15 minutes.
As you can see these Mahon-Menorca Pinwheels with Fig Jam & Serrano Ham are very easy to make and are perfect as a Thanksgiving appetizer. You can actually make them while your turkey is in the oven and serve hot when your guests arrive. But you can also make them ahead of time and simply reheat for a few minutes until warm and they’ll be as delicious as firstly made.
I am super excited that I have more Mahon-Menorca cheese in my fridge because for sure these Pinwheels are going to be present on my Thanksgiving appetizers menu. Don’t wait. Grab your cheese at one of the stores listed above and “WOW” your guests with this sophisticated but super simple-to-make appetizer.
Mahon-Menorca Pinwheels with Fig Jam & Serrano Ham
- 2 sheets Puff pastry store bought, defrosted
- 1/4 lbs Serrano Ham thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup Cured Mahon-Menorca Cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup Semi-Cured Mahon-Menorca Cheese shredded or 20 thin slices
- 4 tbsp Fig Jam up to 5 tablespoon
- 1 Egg beaten
Defrost puff pastry according to instructions;
Heat up the oven to 400F;
Place defrosted puff pastry sheets on lightly floured surface and slightly roll the pastry in each direction;
Spread 2 to 2,5 tablespoon of fig jam on each pastry sheet leaving half an inch from the edges;
Add slices of Serrano ham on both sheets;
Sprinkle shredded ¼ cup of Cured Mahon-Menorca Cheese on each sheet;
Add either sliced or shredded Semi-Cured Mahon-Menorca Cheese on each sheet;
Roll each sheet starting from one edge and stopping in the middle and then rolling from the other side;
Wrap both pastry rolls in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or ideally for 40 minutes;
Remove rolls from the fridge, discard plastic wrap and cut out the endings of the dough and then cut the dough into about ½ inch slices (you should have between 10 and 12 slices from each roll)
Place the slices flat surface up on the baking sheet with parchment paper approximately one inch apart;
Brush the slices with egg wash;
Bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack; Serve warm
- If you cannot find Serrano ham, substitute it with Prosciutto;
- You can cut this recipe in half and only use one sheet of pastry if your party is smaller;
- If you like the Pinwheels to be more on a sweet side you can spread more fig jam on each sheet.
This post is sponsored by Mahon-Menorca Cheese.