400g fresh spinach, washed androughly chopped
30ml (2 tbsp) water
Zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
250g fresh ricotta
50g parmesan, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 x 400g rolls puff pastry, defrosted
1 large whisked egg, to brush
White sesame seeds, to sprinkle
1. For the filling, saute the spinach with the water in a frying pan over medium heat, about 8 minutes or until cooked, but still tender. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible, using either a muslin cloth or the back of a spoon and a sieve.
2. Combine the spinach, lemon zest, 2 large eggs, ricotta and parmesan. Season generously. Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
3. Unroll the pastry and place the 2 sheets on top of each other and cut out a simple triangle for the Christmas tree shape. Place 1 puff pastry sheet on a baking paper-lined baking sheet, and coat it evenly with the spinach and ricotta filling, leaving a 0,5cm border all around.
4. Lay the second sheet on top and cut even strips along the sides (about 2,5cm wide) for the branches. Twist each strip and press down gently at the end of the strip, so that the twist holds (try not to pull or stretch the pastry). Use the pastry offcuts to make a star for your tree, if desired.
5. Brush the tree with the egg wash and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Bake in the preheated oven until puffed up, about 10 – 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 190˚C and bake until golden in colour, 50 minutes.
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