I saw a lovely idea for puff pastry Christmas trees that can have a sweet or savoury filling. They are ideal for a tear and share appetiser or as part of a buffet when you have a party. Using shop bought puff pastry makes this recipe very simple and it is easy to do too.
For mine I decided to make a savoury tree, using pesto or, in my case, sundried tomato pesto. Just two or three tablespoons of the mixture is needed to fill the tree and make a really tasty treat.
There is some wasted pastry after cutting out the shape of the tree, but that can be used to make some stars or other shapes to serve as well.
From start to finish the whole thing takes less than an hour and it is ready to serve warm or cold.
Mine turned out very well indeed, and the taste was wonderful.
As an alternative using Nutella, or cinnamon sugar, for example a sweet version could be made. Other shapes too, like a star or sun could also be used. I will create a sweet version soon and post that as well.
- 2 sheets of ready rolled puff pastry(all butter is best for flavour)
- 2-3 tbsp pesto
- 1 beaten egg to wash the top.
- sesame seeds for sprinkling, if desired.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/400 F
- Have a baking tray, preferable with no rim around at least on edge.
- Unroll one sheet of puff pastry.
- Spread the pesto on the pastry, in a large triangle shape(or cover the whole sheet for cut out stars etc).
- Lay the second sheet of puff pastry on the top.
- Along one short end of the pastry cut two small slits a couple of inches apart, in the centre of the edge.
- Make two lines, one from each long edge to join the slits just made, then cut off the pastry, leaving you with a ‘stump’ this will be the base of the tree trunk.
- Measure the other short edge and mark a small line at the middle point.
- Using a straight edge mark a line from that middle point down to one corner of the pastry, then repeat on the other side to make the shape of the tree.
- Now from each edge of the trunk mark a line up to the top of the pastry creating the length of the tree trunk, narrower as it goes.
- Using a straight edge mark a series of lines about an inch apart, either side of the trunk, which will form the branches.
- Cut the lines to make the branches and then gently pick up each branch and give it two twists and place it back down. (as you get near the top you may only need one twist).
- Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle over sesame seeds, if using.
- Slide the tree, still on the paper that the pastry was rolled in, onto the baking tray.
- Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, checking regularly after 15 minutes to ensure the pastry doesn’t begin to burn.
- Remove from the oven and gently transfer, still on the paper, to a wire rack to cool.
- Serve warm or cold.