Pesto Puff Pastry Wreath (Tarte Soleil)

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! 

puff pastry dough shaped into a star with sixteen rays and stuffed with pesto and garnished with pomegranate arils.

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.

pulling a piece of stuffed puff pastry.

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.
raw puff pastry dough shaped into a star with sixteen rays.

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.

  1. Prep the Oven and Baking Sheet. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a rimless cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. Enjoy! Garnish your wreath with pomegranate arils and chopped basil (or parsley) before serving.

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