Pesto Tarte Soleil

This pastry is what sunny picnic dreams are made of. # 122: Pesto Tarte Soleil

I’m regretting my decision yesterday to make a mini version of this savory pastry. What could I have been thinking? I need more pesto puff pastry and I would like it now.

This piece of pastry art is called a “tarte soleil” which translates from French to “sun pie.” So cute. The bigger they are, the more twists you can fit per ray, giving it a more mesmerizing appearance.

It’s incredibly simple: a spreadable filling sandwiched between two layers of puff pastry. Next time I’ll be trying it with a sweet filling – maybe chocolate hazelnut? or roasted strawberry and basil? The possibilities are truly endless.

I chose to make my own rough puff pastry, since it’s so much cheaper than frozen pastry from the store! And since it’s a rough puff, it doesn’t require a million folds and chills to get it bake-ready.

Two words for ya: frozen butter. Being the last-minute baker that I am, I usually forget to chill my utensils and bowl before mixing pastry. But luckily, I always have a pound of butter in the freezer (because you never know when you might need emergency butter!) Freezing the butter gives you some wiggle room when it comes to how quickly you mix your dough together.

I skimmed several rough puff recipes before landing on Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking. I loved her reasoning for grating the butter in (instead of chopping it small and cutting it into the flour): it disperses the butter more thoroughly, allowing for more air bubbles to form as the water evaporates from each little piece of dairy.

I did my best to work the dough as little as possible while making sure it came together fully. The more you work it, the denser and tougher it’ll be once baked. No barbells for this dough ball.

It only needs an hour to rest in the fridge, which is the perfect amount of time for you to finally change out of your jammies and clean your breakfast dishes. Then you’ll have more space for baking dishes in your sink! *cue Lion King* It’s the ciiiiircle of (dish) liiife.

Rolled and trimmed into twin circles.

Spread with delicious Costco pesto. The container I have is so big that it’ll be a year before I get to try any other pesto, but hey, the Costco stuff is amazing so no complaints here.

Make sure to leave a small border along the edge so you can stick the pastry lid to the bottom circle.

Find yourself a tiny glass to use as a guide and slice away. A pint glass would be perfect if you were making a normal-sized version of this tarte.

And do the twist!

While it’s baking, mix up your dip of choice. I made up a creamy dip that had garlic hummus, cream cheese, sriracha, grey lava salt, olive oil, chili flakes and chopped red bell pepper.

Oo la la, she’s a star.

The egg wash gave it a happy shiny coat. I’ve failed with egg washes in the past, but this on was a success: 1 tsp water mixed with one large egg yolk.

If you’re looking for an added visual element, you could pipe the filling in a swirl on top of the middle of the tarte. But it tastes just as good on the side in a dish.

Happy munching!

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