Is there anything more fun and festive than a crispy, cheese-stuffed, tear and share Christmas tree pastry party centrepiece? Just spread sundried tomato pesto onto puff pastry, top with loads of cheese then cover with more pastry, cut your tree out and bake. Easy, SUPER impressive and perfect for entertaining.
This is such a fabulous one to serve up at any Christmas party or for Christmas day grazing – it’s simple to prepare, quick and can be prepped up to a day in advance.
I’ve gone for sundried tomato pesto filling here because I think it’s just so gorgeous and festive (that red!) and it brings SO much flavour to the tree. It also uses store cupboard ingredients that are available all year round. A three-cheese blend (hello mozzarella, gruyere and parmesan) fills things out to make a super cheesy, super savoury party snack everyone will love. A drizzle of sweet chilli jam and a scattering of chopped rosemary finish it off to add another layer of festive colour.
I love to use the pastry that gets cut away to make cute little Christmas shapes to decorate the tree with.
- Puff pastry. You’ll need two sheets of puff pastry to make the tree – if you can find it, go for all-butter puff pastry for the best flavour.
- Sundried tomato pesto. I LOVE how festive this makes the tree look, and it’s a delicious alternative to your typical basil pesto. But, you can absolutely use regular basil pesto if you prefer.
- Cheese. I’m using a mix of grated mozzarella (pre-grated is fine), gruyere and parmesan. I like to mix something mild and stretchy (mozzarella) with something strongly flavoured (gruyere and parmesan in this case) but you can play around based on what you like. Blue cheese, manchego, cheddar or pecorino would be great alternatives.
How to make it
Spread your sundried tomato pesto over one puff pastry sheet, then top with the three-cheese mix. Lay the other sheet of pastry directly on top, then use a sharp knife to make two diagonal cuts down the pastry, to create a rough triangle.
Make two slices into the bottom of your triangle, leaving about two inches in the middle still attached to the triangle tree. This is your trunk. Without slicing into the middle, make small cuts into the triangle tree, to form your branches. Don’t worry if this gets a little messy – it will still look and taste great even if it’s a little uneven!
Gently twist your branches around a couple of times (the same way you’d twist a puff pastry cheese straw). Use the sliced-off pieces of pastry to cut out Christmas shapes to decorate your tree – I’ve mainly gone for stars on the tree itself, with a couple of little Christmas trees to bake separately. I use mini cookie cutters for this (I picked up this set from Amazon which is super useful) but you could also cut out stars by hand.
Brush the tree with egg wash, then place your decorations all over the tree. I like to make a bigger star to place on top of the tree, and then decorate the rest of it with smaller shapes. Brush the decorations with egg wash, then bake until super golden and crispy.
PRO TIP: If you have a lot of excess pastry left over, don’t waste it! Either cut them into little shapes and bake them with the tree, or twist them into mini cheese straws.
Got a question?
Of course! Use Nutella or Biscoff spread instead of the pesto and cheese for a sweet version, then dust it with icing sugar once it’s baked.
You can assemble the tree, cover it with clingfilm and store it overnight in the fridge. Then, pop it into the oven when you’re ready to serve.
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If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.Print