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The holidays are fast approaching. You need Christmas steam oven recipes. I’m your girl, starting today with these Christmas steam oven cherry tomato tarts.
These tarts have a creamy ricotta cheese and rich basil pesto filling, topped with halved cherry tomatoes which soften and wrinkle in the oven, concentrating their sweetness. All this sits atop a bed of the flakiest pastry ingredient list is a mere four items long (if you’re using store bought puff pastry, that is).
Christmas food in a steam oven
For as long as I’ve been creating steam oven recipes, mid-November has brought with it a flurry of emails and phone calls from panicked appliance owners about how to convert their favourite holiday recipes for the steam oven.
Some recipes are a pretty easy conversion.
Christmas pudding in the steam oven? So much easier than in a pot. Others take some effort or just don’t work that well (erm, no, you probably shouldn’t bake your shortbread in the steam oven). But the constant refrain I hear from people is that they bought a steam oven and now all their friends and family expect to be impressed by their amazing new cooking skills – never more so than during the festive season.
Often the person with the steam oven has a whole new kitchen or even a new house, and at some point past excitedly offered up their house for a party, ready to show off the new place. No pressure then.
With the above in mind, I’ve pulled together some simple fixes for steam oven holiday entertaining recipes. I have pointers and recipes for the more traditional dishes too, but mostly I’d like to arm you with some easy things you can prepare and whip out for parties big and small. Sort of a low-effort-high-impact arsenal of Christmas steam oven recipes. You can find the full range of steam oven recipes for Christmas by taking a look through the Christmas category on this site.
Puff pastry tarts in your steam oven
First up in the Christmas line-up? These utterly delicious combi steam cherry tomato tarts.
I love making little puff pastry tarts in the steam oven – they’re easy to put together, can be done totally in advance and cooked when guests arrive, and they always get a positive reaction which far outweighs the time taken to make them. Regular store bought puff pastry is literally elevated to new heights using combi steam (sorry, couldn’t help myself) and comes out of the oven incredibly flaky with a deeply golden exterior and tender interior.
These tarts are especially festive with a red, white and green theme thanks to the cherry tomatoes, ricotta cheese and basil pesto. Plus they’re inexpensive to make and vegetarian, which makes them a bit of an all around winner.
These tarts only take 12 minutes to cook in the steam oven so if you’re cooking for a crowd you can run a few batches through fairly quickly while everyone chats over drinks. I have a house full of people big and small this weekend, including a dedicated vegetarian, so I’ll be making some to feed my guests even though it’s not actually Christmas yet!
Happy steam oven cooking, see you here again soon (next week, a sweet festive recipe for the steam oven which makes for excellent gifts – I can’t wait to share it).
Christmas Cherry Tomato Tarts
- 1 sheet store-bought puff pastry 30cm/12” square, thawed
- 5 oz 150g firm ricotta cheese about 2/3-3/4 cup. If your ricotta is quite wet, drain in a fine sieve for a couple of hours before use
- 2 oz 50g basil pesto store bought is just fine
- 12 cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
- Preheat your oven to 400⁰F/200⁰C, combination steam setting. If your oven has variable steam settings, use 50%. If not, don't worry! Just set to combination steam at the correct temperature and the oven will work out the humidity for you. Lightly grease a dark coloured baking tray or line with silicone paper.
- Cut the pastry in half crosswise, then cut each half across into 4 rectangles. Lay the rectangles on the tray with a little space between each one and lightly score a 1/4"/5mm border around the edges of each piece with a sharp knife. Take care not to cut all the way through the pastry.
- Divide the ricotta between the rectangles of pastry, spreading it up to the borders you’ve cut. Top each piece with three small dots of pesto, then put a halved cherry tomato, cut side up, onto the pesto.
- Cook the tarts for 12 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened and the pastry is golden brown. Serve hot or warm.
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