This dessert is guaranteed to be the star of any party!
I’ve had to ask my boyfriend three times this week, “How do I pronounce soleil?” And it’s not because I don’t know a good amount of French. Growing up in the 80s, I didn’t even know “soleil” was a word. I thought it was a name—the name of the actor who played Punky Brewster, to be exact.
Coming from a small town, and knowing no one in our cul de sac who spoke French (or anything but cowboy, for that matter), the neighborhood ladies aged 7 and up simply sounded out the name and spent a good decade talking passionately about our love for “Solaaayl.”
Thus it was, when stumbling about this killer idea for French pastry wonder, the Soleil Tart, I spend Tuesday through Thursday saying “solaayyyl tarts” and though I *knew* I should be saying it with a ladylike “So-leeeiiii” (like “Cirque de So-leeeeiiii”) I couldn’t help myself. It was a week of Punky Brewster flashbacks and solayl tarts. And the only reason this matters is because the last time my life was this revolutionized by sheer passion was when the episode where Punky tried to run away so Henry and Maggie could get married aired.
Which is to say, mad love. This is what soleil tarts bring into one’s life.
The kind of mad love that you only find when the worlds-most-decadent looking pastry also turns out to be the worlds-most-fun-pastry-to-make.
Don’t believe me? Scroll on. Let me show you this trick. Because, as with mismatched socks and bi-colored Keds, you need this recipe in your life.
Step 1: Thaw two sheets of puff pastry, then roll them out on a piece of parchment until about ¼-inch thick. I found rolling them diagonally—pushing from tip to tip—helped me get a nice, wide sheet. Which is really the point here. You’re aiming to stretch the smallest parts of that sheet out to about 12-14 inches.
Step 2: Once your sheets have been thinned and widened, lay them on a parchment-lined pizza pan and use kitchen shears to snip the pieces into circle. I found it quite easy to simply lay one piece of puff pastry on the pan, snip it into a circle, then gently move it to the side while I prepped the second piece. That way, I could use the pan for reference and both pieces ended up in roughly the same shapes.
Step 3: Now schmear your topping on top. We’ve prepped three different recipes (two savory, one sweet), but you can really go wild here. Just make sure you don’t overfill the schmear. About 1-½ cups of cheese is plenty.
With the filling filled, place the second sheet of puff pastry on top and set a bowl upside down in the center of the pastry. Then use kitchen shears to slice through both layers of pastry, from the edges to where the bowl begins in the center, creating 16-24 rays.
I found it simplest to cut the tart into quarter slices first, then cut those in half, then half each of those slices, etc. until I liked the final size.
Now, gently twist each “ray” several times. Press down gently at the top of the ray to keep it from overrotating and twisting itself off of the center piece.
The end result will look like this if you twist all rays in the same direction.
Or, twist every other ray to the opposite direction—one left, one right, one left, etc.—for a slightly different look.
Another option is to twist the rays in opposite directions, then pinch two rays together to create a petal-like effect.
A quick brush of egg wash…
And your soleil tart is ready to bake!
35-40 minutes in the oven, and once it’s golden brown, your tart is ready to serve. So golden and so gorgeous!
Here are two savory and one sweet flavor faves that’ll have you covered from dinner to dessert.
A creamy mustard sauce, Swiss cheese and ham are twisted together to make this incredible sandwich tart. Topped with poppyseeds and a sprinkling of powdered sugar, then served with strawberry jam for dipping, this one is an absolute must-have at game day parties and lazy Saturday afternoon hangouts.
Strips of bacon, minced garlic and cheddar are twisted into tasty strips, topped with dried onion and sesame seeds, topped with more melty cheddar, and garnished with green onions and parsley. If you’ve ever loved a loaded baked potato, you’re about to fall in love with this tarte soleil. Absolute savory perfection!
And for the pièce de résistance, we took the classic flavors of peanut butter cups and turned them into a decadent dessert. Peanut butter and honey filling, chocolate chips, sparkling sugar, and a chocolate drizzle. Try serving this with giant glasses of ice cold milk for dipping. It’s absolutely unbeatable.
How Do You Top Your Tart?
These three Soleil Tarts are just a start! The filling and flavor ideas are really endless. What other twists would you like to see on these pretty pastries?
Brooke blogs at Cheeky Kitchen, where she shares crazy simple, healthy family recipes. She joined Tablespoon to share some of her best, so keep an eye on Brooke's profile to see what she cooks up next!