Cheese Pinwheels with Mayhaw Jelly
Cheese Pinwheels with Mayhaw Jelly – a twist on the southern cheese straw made into a wafer and filled with chopped pecans and Mayhaw jelly.
I feel quite sure that everyone is familiar with the classic southern cheese straw, right? Those delightful little bites of sharp cheese and cayenne that are served at practically every get-together in the southern states?
Well, this recipe is the cheese straw’s first cousin – the cheese pinwheel. Plus it has a little something extra to set it apart and that thing is Mayhaw jelly.
Please raise your hand if you know what Mayhaw jelly is.
<sound of crickets chirping>
Well, then, let me introduce you! Mayhaw jelly is, surprisingly enough, made from Mayhaws. Mayhaws are native to the hot coastal areas of the south and they grow in sandy soils and swampy areas. And, let me tell you, there are plenty of sandy, swampy areas where I grew up.
What in the World are Mayhaws?
In the swamps and on stream banks all around Colquitt (Miller County), Georgia, you can easily find wild mayhaw trees. The season for mayhaws is pretty short, only about three weeks, and when they ripen in early May several enterprising folks make a business of gathering the fruit and offering it for sale. Colquitt even proclaims itself to be the Mayhaw Capital of the World and holds an annual Mayhaw Festival in honor of this favorite local treat.
When I was growing up we always had jars of Mayhaw jelly in the house. And as far as I’m concerned it’s simply the best jelly I’ve ever had. Mayhaws are kissing cousins to the crabapple and they make the prettiest, clear coral colored jelly you ever saw.
What Does it Taste Like?
The jelly tastes similar to a very sweet apple but with other fruit overtones like mango and pineapple. There’s really nothing quite like splitting open a hot buttermilk biscuit, slathering it with butter and popping in a spoonful of Mayhaw jelly. It’s simply something that has to be experienced to understand.
Where Can You Get Some Mayhaw Jelly?
If you’d like to try this exotic delicacy of Mayhaw jelly for yourself, you can easily purchase a jar or two from Stripling’s General Store: http://www.striplings.com/jelly.aspx . I buy from Stripling’s quite often. They’re famous all around south Georgia for their sausage and the Mayhaw jelly is just fabulous.
If you just can’t wait to try these Cheese Pinwheels with Mayhaw Jelly and you don’t have any Mayhaw jelly on hand, substitute some good quality apple jelly. It won’t be exactly the same, but it’ll be close.
How to Make Cheese Pinwheels with Mayhaw Jelly
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the grated cheese and mix together thoroughly.
Add the softened butter, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated and form a dough. I usually mix as much as I can with a wooden spoon and then dump everything out onto a board and keep working the dough until I get it to come together. It takes a little effort, but it will eventually get itself together.
Divide the dough into two balls and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll each into a square or rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick. I use a bench scraper to help me shape the dough. Keep rolling and shaping the sides with the scraper until you get something resembling that above.
Now for the best part! Spread the dough thinly with Mayhaw jelly then sprinkle all over with the chopped pecans.
Roll each into a log.
Confession time – I’m just going to tell you that this is not the easiest dough to work with. It wants to crack and crumble but you just have to go slowly remolding it all the time. I have to roll up a few inches, pinch and remold the dough, roll a little more, pinch it all together again…see? Don’t be discouraged, though, just take your time and it will come together beautifully.
Wrap in the rolls in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Slice each roll into pinwheels about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
Remove to a cooling rack.
These are great to serve at a shower or reception with tea. Or just have a couple of an ice cold Cola-Cola.
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Cheese Pinwheels with Mayhaw Jelly
- 1 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup butter softened
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ cup Mayhaw jelly
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the grated cheese and mix together thoroughly.
- Add the softened butter, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated and form a dough. I usually mix as much as I can with a wooden spoon and then dump everything out onto a board and keep working the dough until I get it to come together. It takes a little effort, but it will eventually get itself together.
- Divide the dough into two balls and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll each into a square or rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick. I use a bench scraper to help me shape the dough. Keep rolling and shaping the sides with the scraper until you get something resembling that above.
- Now for the best part! Spread the dough thinly with Mayhaw jelly then sprinkle all over with the chopped pecans.
- Roll each into a log.
- Wrap in the rolls in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Slice each roll into pinwheels about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
- Remove to a cooling rack.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
More Cheese Pinwheel Recipes …
- Savory Bacon, Onion and Cheese Pinwheels from The Biscuit Barrel
- Taste of Home’s Spinach-Cheese Pinwheels
- Mamie’s Famous Cheese Wafers from The Nibble
I am just enjoying all your comments and recipes and finding yet another favorite of mine. Mayhaw jelly, yes. Always had it in biscuits. Always had it at our house. Helped pick those mayhaw’s too. Use to pick it up at Wilkin’s but mostly from a niece who made lots and sold it. I guess Striplings was where I found it last year. Is it now called Salt Lick Sausage Co. and on highway between Albany and Cordele? Lane’s cake is also an old favorite and I baked one at Christmas for years. Have you published a cookbook yet? Would love to have one with all your writing about southwest GA. Thanks
Hi Patricia – I get Mayhaw jelly at Wilkin’s or either Stripling’s. Salt Lick is a different store just down the road from Stripling’s.
No, I haven’t published a cookbook but lots of people ask for one. I may look into doing it some time soon.
My husband just got back from a business trip to South GA – we’re in Atlanta. He always stops at Striplings. His delivery tonight included the mayhaw jelly, beef jerky for my dad, the jalapeno sausage (sooo good) and some stuffed pork chops for dinner. I’ll be making these to bring to my nieces baptism on Sunday. Thank you!
Kelley – I hope they turn out good for you. I’d love to know what everyone thinks of them. And – if you have any questions, just email. I’ll be around :-)
Love those pin wheels and peanut butter and mayhaw jelly sandwiches. My wife, Sara, has made literally thousands of cases of mayhaw jelly for Wilkins IGA in Colquitt, Ga. So we have eaten our share of it. The stories that she can tell you of the people that she has shipped it to over the years will amaze you. Get you some and try it.
Roger – I have probably eaten gallons of Sara’s jelly over the years. I usually pick up some every time I come home to Colquitt. The one in the photo is from another maker but Sara’s is the best. There’s really no other jelly like it in the world!
Mayhaw jelly reminds me of my childhood days driving from Houston to lake Livingston to visit the grandparents….You could only buy it from vendors on the side of the road. Thank goodness for Buc’ees nowadays. I love that southereners have these little secret recipes! We may use pasta sauce out of a jar, but we know how to make sawmill gravy (with biscuits), chicken n dumplings, beer can chicken, loaded baked potatoes, among many other meat dishes… HLSR cook off! Thanks for the great recipe!
You’re welcome, Nathan! Mayhaw jelly is still relatively unknown outside of the Mayhaw’s native growing area. My favorite way to enjoy it is on a hot, buttered, buttermilk biscuit. Yum!
Sounds wonderful! I love Mayhaw Jelly and it goes great with cheese. I live in South Louisiana and have had homemade Mayhaw Jelly all my life and it’s a favorite of mine. Making my first batch of the season today! Can’t wait to try this recipe!
Hi! I just discovered your lovely site through TK and thought I would let you know that these look GREAT! I stop by Striplings every time I visit my hometown of Leesburg from Atlanta, so I can definitely agree that it’s great stuff (almost as good as my Mamaw’s recipe). I will be making these for my fiance, a former yankee, who now jumps up and down when I buy or receive a jar of Mayhaw jelly. Thanks, I will be bookmarking your page!
I can definitely raise my hand! I have never picked mayhaws, but mayhaw jelly was a staple in our house growing up. My mom used to buy it at a specialty grocery, I now find it in small towns with specialty jam/jelly stores. When I run out of mayhaw jelly, I tell my family its time for a roadtrip to one of the small shopping/artsy towns to visit and buy more jelly. A favorite snack in our house growing up was crackers with cream cheese and a small amount of mayhaw jelly…yum. I have never seen a recipe using this, but I can’t wait to try it!
Wonderful website! I love the Mayhaw recipe, and no, I’d never heard of a Mayhaw before either, but sounds like I need to add the jelly to my list of things to buy till I can make some!
We enjoy sand plum jelly around here in Kansas, and I always thought it to be the tastiest to put on sweet rolls!
Bookmarking your website!