Made with buttery puff pastry and fragrant sun dried tomato pesto, this easy Pesto Puff Pastry Wreath (Tarte Soleil) is a mouthwatering holiday appetizer that’s truly stunning!
A Gorgeous (But Easy) Holiday Appetizer!
Sometimes you just want to make a really show-stopping recipe: a perfect whole roast turkey, a fancy decorated layer cake, or maybe this beautiful puff pastry wreath! It’s a holiday favorite that’s not only full of flavor, but full of charm, thanks to the traditional tarte soleil styling.
For the filling, my favorite is a good-quality pesto. Tangy, fragrant pesto goes well with buttery puff pastry, and is so well-balanced that you really don’t need any other filling ingredients! A few festive garnishes are more than enough.
What Is a Tarte Soleil?
This wreath is basically a holiday version of the classic French Tarte Soleil, which is an elegant puff pastry appetizer made by making cuts in a circle of filled puff pastry, so to look like rays of light around the sun. These “rays” are twisted before baking to create a pretty effect and showcase the pastry layers and filling. The rays are then eaten pull-apart style, for a festive and lovely appetizer.
Ingredients You’ll Need
The main ingredient here is puff pastry. This is usually easy to find in the frozen section of most grocery stores, near the pie crust. (Of course, you can also choose to make your own, but it takes a lot of time and is generally not done except by pastry chefs!)
- Puff Pastry: 2 sheets puff pastry
- Pesto: ¼ cup store-bought sun-dried tomato pesto or basil pesto,
- Egg: 1 egg, beaten
- Coarse Salt: Optional, for sprinkling.
- Optional Garnishes: Pomegranate arils and chopped fresh basil or parsley make the perfect garnishes.
How to Make this Christmas Appetizer
Let’s take a closer look at just how to assemble this easy tarte soleil-style wreath. Once you try making it, you’ll probably want to make it again and again, with all types of fillings.
- Prep the Oven and Baking Sheet. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a rimless cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the Puff Pastry Circles. Open the puff pastry, and roll out the puff pastry sheets. Cut out two 10-inch circles from the puff pastry. It’s easy to do this if you place a large dinner plate on the puff pastry, and cut around it with a sharp knife. See pics below.
- Fill the Puff Pastry with Pesto. Place one of the puff pastry circles on your parchment-lined cookie sheet. Spoon the pesto onto the middle of the puff pastry, and use the back of a large spoon to spread the pesto into an even layer, leaving a 1-inch border all the way around. Do not overfill. Then, place the second puff pastry circle on top.
- Cut and Twist the “Rays.” Gently press a drinking glass in the center of the wreath, to create a round indentation. Set the glass aside. Using a sharp knife, cut 16 slices all around, leaving the center circle intact. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 5 minutes to firm up. Then twist each ray two or three times to the right, working your way around the entire wreath.
- Bake. Brush the top of the wreath and each ray with the beaten egg, and sprinkle with coarse salt, if you are using it. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until golden and puffed up.
- Enjoy! Garnish your wreath with pomegranate arils and chopped basil (or parsley) before serving.
Wreath Tips and Variations
So that’s it! The easiest, yet prettiest, recipe ever! But, did you know that tarte soleil is also a flexible recipe you can easily customize? Here are a couple of my favorite tips and variation ideas!
- Clockwise Cutting: To make cutting the rays easier, envision the wreath as a clock. Make your first cuts at twelve, three, six, and nine. Now make three evenly-spaced cuts in each quarter. Done!
- Imperfections Are Fine: Puff pastry is very forgiving, so don’t worry if your unbaked wreath looks a little crooked or imperfect. Once it bakes, the golden-brown puff pastry looks amazing!
- Sweet Version 1: You can make a fabulous sweet version of this tart with a filling of Nutella! Garnish with slivered almonds and a drizzle of melted dark or white chocolate.
- Sweet Version 2: Cream cheese mixed with cranberry jam is another great sweet filling for a tarte soleil wreath! It’s a nice balance: less sweet than Nutella, but still dessert-like.
What Goes with a Tarte Soleil?
What should you serve with this festive tarte soleil wreath? It stands alone as a perfect starter, but I also love it as part of a fabulous brunch! Here are some of my favorite brunch recipes to go along with it:
- Fruit Pizza: Don’t let the name fool you! This fresh and creamy Breakfast Fruit Pizza may not sound very fancy, but with its layers of jewel-bright fruit and sweet cream cheese filling, it’s a breakfast fit for the most special occasion!
- Breakfast Casserole: Classic Overnight Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole is made with hash browns, cheese, sausage, and eggs, for a hearty dish everyone will devour!
- Pancake Bites: So cute! Add a little chocolate to your brunch with these adorable, chocolate chips Pancake Bites.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To store leftovers, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, or cut into slices and place them in airtight containers or food storage bags. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- To reheat, bake again at 400˚F for about 5 minutes, or until heated through.
Can I Make this in Advance?
- Yes, you can assemble the wreath up to one day in advance! Just refrigerate it, unbaked, and covered loosely with plastic wrap.
- Bake it as directed on the day of. You may have to add a minute or two to the baking time.
Pesto Puff Pastry Wreath
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Line a large rimless cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll out the puff pastry sheets and cut them into 10-inch circles. I place a large dinner plate on the puff pastry and cut around it.
- Transfer one puff pastry circle to the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
- Put the pesto in the middle of the puff pastry circle; using the back of a large spoon, spread the pesto over the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border all the way around.
- Place the second puff pastry sheet on top.
- Place a drinking glass in the center of the circle to create a round indentation; remove the glass.
- Using a sharp knife, cut 16 slices all around, leaving the center circle intact.
- Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 5 minutes – this will make it easier to twist the pastry.
- Remove from freezer.
- Twist each slice two or three times to the right, working your way around the entire wreath.
- Brush the top with egg wash. Sprinkle it with coarse salt.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and puffed up.
- Garnish with pomegranate arils and chopped basil or parsley.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.