I sent Mr Frugal to the shop the other night for some bits and bobs and he came home with 5 boxes of ready rolled puff pastry that was reduced to 42p a roll even though it still had a few days left before it needed using up or freezing.
I think he had visions of me making him a pie for his tea every night for a week but I had different plans – I’ve been wanting to try making a puff pastry Christmas tree after seeing one last year but knowing that it was highly likely to go wrong, I’d kept deciding against having a go. Seeing as the pastry was so cheap though and I had some leftovers from the roast gammon dinner we’d had the night before I decided to have a go at making my very own savoury puff pastry Christmas tree.
How to make a savoury puff pastry Christmas tree
First of all, I chopped up the leftovers from tea the night before which were gammon, potato and broccoli along with some red onion and some finely sliced leek. I gave the onions and leeks a quick fry in some olive oil as they were the only things that hadn’t been cooked the night before and then added everything else along with a stock cube and a little water.
When everything was heated through and lots of the water had bubbled away, I just poured over some of the leftover gravy and gently heated that up before setting it to one side to cool slightly while I attempted to make a sheet of puff pastry into a Christmas tree!
I laid the sheet of puff pastry onto a baking tray which I’d already covered with a sheet of baking paper in the hope that, if my tree did turn out looking like a tree then I’d be able to move it to a plate without some sort of disaster. I sliced a little bit of pastry off the bottom to make a tree trunk but you’ll see more of that in a minute.
Next I cut out a sheet of card in a triangle shape and laid it on the puff pastry sheet like this….
With the card triangle in place, I cut strips down the side of the tree using a sharp knife – the sharper the better as it won’t drag the pastry if it’s sharp. You can see what I mean in this picture….
You can also see in the picture above that I added a tree trunk by cutting a piece of puff pastry from the strip I chopped off earlier by slicing a slit into the tree and pushing the tree trunk from the underneath.
The next thing I did was spoon my leftover Sunday Dinner mix onto the triangle area of the puff pastry and added a few blobs of stuffing like this….
Now came the hard part!
I folded over the bottom piece of pastry as far as the slice I made for the tree trunk to keep the mixture from escaping from the bottom while it cooked.
Starting from the bottom, I then folded over the bottom two strands so the overlapped each other and the pastry that I’d already folded over at the bottom.
Then I moved up the tree folding over two strips at a time – the higher up you get, the shorter the strips will need to be otherwise they’ll overlap with pastry to spare. I just cut them where I needed to so they overlapped around the centre of the tree.
You can see better in this photo the lip that folding the bottom of the pastry over the mix creates and how the strips get shorter the closer to the top your folds get. I also added a cheeky star on the top. 😉
I popped it in the oven 180 c for about 15 minutes but I kept a pretty close eye on it as I really didn’t want it to burn. It took a little more than the 15 minutes in the end but look what the finished result looked like….
How’s that for a savoury puff pastry Christmas tree?
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