It's that time of year - when relatives, friends and neighbours desend, and you want to present something that's simple to make but looks a bit 'wowy'. Here's our solution - a delicious brie, cranberry and pancetta tree with share and tear branches.
The Cooking Shed’s brie, cranberry & pancetta Christmas tree recipe
This is a perfect sharing dish to serve at any gathering over the festive season. Simple to make, and impressive to look at you could also replace the pastry with bread dough, or experiment with any fillings you like – sweet or savoury. We’d love to see your creations – be sure to tag Limited Edition, and @thecookingshed in your pics on Twitter or Facebook!
Plain flour (for dusting)
2 x packs of 320g ready rolled puff pastry
3 tablespoons of cranberry sauce
200g brie (chilled until the last minute)
60g thinly sliced pancetta
1 medium egg
Sprinkle a fine dusting of flour on to a baking tray
Lay out the first sheet of pastry on to the tray then spread over the cranberry sauce
Thinly slice strips of the brie and lay on top of the cranberry sauce
Add the strips of pancetta to the top of the brie
Lay the second sheet of pastry on top and gently roll with a rolling pin to flatten
Take a sharp knife and cut out a tree shape – then slice branches across from the middle – leaving a strip in the middle to keep it all together as the trunk.
Take each branch and twist upwards twice – do this all the way up until the top triangle is left at the peak of the tree.
Brush with egg wash (a mix of 2 parts beaten egg and 1 part cold water)
Place in the oven on 180c (or gas mark 5) for 20 minutes
When nicely browned and cooked through, remove from the oven and leave to one side to cool (be careful the cranberry sauce and brie will be extremely hot!)
Take a fish slice and carefully ease the tree from the baking sheet then slide on to a serving dish or board. Decorate if you wish with a few cherry tomatoes and small basil leaves to look extra Christmassy.
Give the discarded pieces of pastry to the kids with some cookie cutters so that they can make some shapes to cook for spare snacks.
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