Christmas Pastries and a Willow Zarzo Tray


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Out of stock

Workshop Overview

This exciting workshop incorporates the skill of basketmaking with the skill of the pastry chef.

You will make a beautiful willow Zarzo tray that you can use to present your hand finished Christmas Pastries.

The Zarzo tension tray was historically used for draining cheese, although in recent years it has been transformed by Ulla Misser into a crafted work of art. Gill Jones will guide you through the basketmaking element of the day. She is an exceptional basketmaker with a talent for sharing her passion for this heritage craft. She uses willow because it is a strong, natural material that is sustainable and widely available. The willow for this workshop is grown here on the farm. 

Jan Williams will be taking the lead for the pastry making part of the workshop. Jan has many years experience of teaching young people to bake and she has also worked with willow. 

Zarzo and Pastries


Zarzo and Pastries


Time Activity
09:30 Tea and biscuits on arrival, registration and welcome
09:45 Making puff and flaky pastry
10:45 Tea and cake
11:00 Laying the Zarzo Platter base
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Making mince pies and Eccles cakes
15:00 Shaping and finishing the platter
16:30 Workshop finishes


Zarzo and Pastries

What You Will Learn

Zarzo Tray with Pastries Slide 1

During this workshop, you will:

  • Learn how to handle willow safely;
  • Use willow work tools safely and correctly;
  • Discuss the way in which willow is prepared correctly for basketmaking;
  • Use simple weaving methods to create a Zarzo tray using the Catalan tension tray technique;
  • Use safe kitchen practice (Health and Safety; Food Safety);
  • Prepare and bake your Christmas themed pastries correctly;
  • Serve your Christmas themed pastries on your finished Zarzo tension tray/platter; and
  • Discuss the care of your Zarzo platter so that it provides many years of use.

What You Will Take Home

Zarzo and Pastries
Zarzo and Pastries
Zarzo and Pastries
Zarzo and Pastries
  • Zarzo and Pastries
  • Zarzo and Pastries
  • Zarzo and Pastries

At the end of this workshop, you will take home your own handmade willow Zarzo tray, as well as your own Christmas themed pastries.

Important Details

The Rural Skills Centre will provide:

  • All materials and ingredients to make your willow Zarzo tray and Christmas themed pastries will be provided;
  • Tea/Coffee and lots of cake;
  • Lunch (let us know if you have any specific dietary requirements);
  • Parking; and
  • Accessible facilities.
  • Zarzo and Pastries
  • Zarzo and Pastries
  • Zarzo and Pastries


Suitable for Beginners Icon

This workshop is suitable for complete beginners and those who have experience of baking pastries and/or willow work.


This workshop is taught by Gill Jones and Jan Williams.

Jan Williams

Janet Williams

Farmhouse Kitchen