I am coming back with a new French recipe called Flammekueche or Tarte flambée! As you may have noticed the name does not sound very French, and this for a good reason: it is from Alsace! For those who do not know very well France and its regions, Alsace is a region in the North-East of France, next to Germany.
It would be waaay to long to explain all the history of this beautiful region, but here is a tiny version. Because of its proximity with Germany, Alsace became German and then French again many times before finally being fully part of France. This is why Alsace’s culture is very close to German’s culture and that their dialect is very similar to German. Flammekueche means “Flame cake” in Alsacian (thanks Wikipedia!).
Because the name is a bit complicated to pronounce, I introduced it as a French Pizza to my boyfriend and my friends and they all really loved it. To quote my boyfriend: “I could eat hundreds of them”! What I really like about tarte flambée is that it is quite cheap and easy to make. This is basically a very thin crust, cream, onions and bacon. It is traditionally made with fromage blanc, or literally “white cheese” which is close to fresh cheese. But fresh cheese being quite expensive here, I had to make an equivalent by mixing the sour cream with cream cheese. I find the taste very close and I hope you will too if you tried traditional tarte flambée before.
But enough chatting and let’s start cooking!!
1- The dough
Here are all the ingredients you need for the dough:
- 250g Flour
- 50ml canola oil
- Pinch of salt
- 150 ml warm water
I found this recipe on jds.fr. If you know some French, I invite you to visit their page, they have plenty of good recipes there!
First, add the flour and the salt in a bowl. Then, add the oil and start mixing. Add the warm water and mix well until you can shape a ball.
Tips: It is important to mix well. If after mixing you think the dough needs more water, then you can add a little, mix, and add some again if necessary.
2- Tarte flambée
- 500g bacon (1 package)
- 300ml sour cream
- 150g cream cheese
- 2 big onions (or 3 medium)
When I prepare flammekueche, I usually prefer preparing all the ingredients before making the dough, so the dough doesn’t dry during the preparation.
- Preheat your oven at 490 degrees Fahrenheit. Start by dicing your bacon. If you can find a thick bacon the better it is. In France, we don’t have bacon but something called “lardons” which are small dices of pork belly, so the closest to these, the better! If, like me, you bought thin slices of bacon, make sure to keep them in the fridge until the moment you want to dice them. It will make it easier to cut them. Because the bacon is thin, I also advise you to cut it with scissors instead of a knife. The cut will be clear instead of ripe like it would be with a knife. Put aside on a plate.
- Once the bacon diced, cut your onions in thin slices. It is important to make them thin so they will cook faster. Remember that the crust is very thin, so the flammekueche will cook very fast.
- Now, it is time to prepare the spread for your tarte flambée! As I mentioned earlier, it is traditionally a mix of cream and fresh cheese, but I only found sour cream here and fresh cheese is too expensive. Instead, I have made a mix of sour cream and cream cheese. Mix them in a bowl until it makes a smooth spread.
- Put all the prepared ingredients on the side and start making the crust. Divide your dough in 4 balls. Put one ball on a floured surface, sprinkle some flour on top and roll it with a rolling pan. You can make a round or rectangular crust. Make sure the crust is very thin and put it on a parchemin paper. Repeat for all the balls.
- Once your crusts are made, spread some of the sour cream/cream cheese mixture, sprinkle with onions, bacon, and season with a pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Put a tarte flambée in the oven (or more depending of the size of your oven) and cook until the side are golden ( so about 10-15 min).
You can add more toppings if you wish. In France, we usually add grated gruyere, mushrooms or Munster ( it is a very soft and stinky cheese, very different from its american brother).
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know if you tried it and if you like it in the comments.