Learn how to make a classic French appetizer known as a Tarte Au Soleil. A great appetizer idea for holiday entertaining made with store-bought puff pastry.
This is one of my favorite Puff Pastry Recipes for holiday entertaining because it’s so easy to make, but looks so impressive! Guests are always WOWed by the presentation.
What is a Tarte Au Soleil?
A Tarte au Soleil is a fun French appetizer made with a savory filling and puff pastry. The pastry is sliced and twisted to create a large rounded tart that once baked, resembles a giant sun. Hence the name “sun tart”. My French relatives say it originated in the South of France where sunshine and pesto sauce are both plentiful!
It’s served as a savory nibble during the French cocktail hour, or Apero, as it’s affectionately called, which can go on for several hours! So having something filling to nibble on is always a great idea!
Despite its impressive design, it’s actually quite easy to make! All you need is some store-bought puff pastry and jarred pesto sauce. Seriously that’s all there is to it folks! It all comes down to slicing and twisting of the pastry sheets.
This is why I love puff pastry recipes for the holidays! It does all the work for you and can make the simplest recipes into something so fancy! For a similar wow factor you may also enjoy my Sticky Buns, Mini Ham and Cheese Croissants or my French Apple Pastries for Christmas morning breakfast.
Watch my Tarte au Soleil Video Demo Below!
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Once the tart is done you can serve it on a big cutting board and guests serve themselves by twisting off the rays! It’s a great appetizer for an open house because it tastes great hot or at room temperature.
What I love about this tart is the fact that you can fill in with so many things, both sweet and savory and you can make it ahead of time.
Make-Ahead Tip: The tart can be made the day before, just cover lightly with parchment paper and leave in freezer or fridge. When it comes time to serve, bake immediately no need to thaw first.
Other Fillings for Tarte Au Soleil
- Nutella topped with powdered sugar for a fun dessert idea
- Raspberry Jam and Cream CHeese for a Brunch
- Olive Tapenade
- Sundried Tomato Paste and Parmesean
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- 2 sheets puff pastry, cut into large 10” (25 cm) circles
- 3 tbsp (45ml) store-bought pesto OR Nutella for a dessert version
- 1 egg, beaten
- sesame seeds if desired
- Preheat oven to 400F (200C)
- Roll out pastry. Place a dinner plate down and cut out a circle. Transfer circle to a rimless baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Place pesto in the middle of the circle and spread over the pastry leaving a 1 inch (2.5 cm) border, all the way around pastry circle.
- Place 2nd circle on top.
- Place small juice glass in the center of the circle to create an indentation. Remove glass.
- Cut pastry into four quarters, keep the center intact as a circle.
- Then go into each quadrant and cut then in half then quarters this will create 4 slices per quadrant and create even “rays” around your tart. Place tray in the freezer for 5 mins just to firm up a bit to make it easier to twist the rays.
- Then twist each ray with a 2-turn twist, allowing the tail to lay flat. Once all the twists are made pop the tray back in the freezer for 5 mins, this will make it easier to brush the egg wash on.
- Brush beaten egg on the tart. Sprinkle center of the tart with sesame seeds. Place in the freezer for 5 mins to firm up. This will help the sun keep its shape as it hits the hot oven
- Bake tart for 20-25 mins until golden brown and puffed up. Serve on cutting board and invite guests to twist off the rays!
This whole thing can be done the day before, cover lightly with parchment paper and leave in freezer or fridge and when it comes time to serve, bake immediately no need to thaw first.
For other variations try:
- goat cheese and tapenade
- Cream cheese and jam
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 29mg Sodium: 148mg Carbohydrates: 9g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 3g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 5g