Flammekueche or Tarte flambée
Flammekueche or Tarte flambée is a well-known
Alsacian speciality. It is like pizza in that a thin crust of
dough is baked in a very hot oven but its topping is primarily
crème fraîche, onions, and bacon. Like many traditional
regional dishes there are innumerable ways of preparing it.
Here is one example.
Starter for the Dough
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup moderately hot water, about 110 degrees
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 package yeast
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup beer
- 6 tablespoons (¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons) milk
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 medium onion (3 ounces), finely chopped
- 1 cup crème fraîche, commercial or homemade (see note)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 pinches nutmeg
- 3 ounces bacon, cut into matchsticks
- Mix the starter ingredients together in a small bowl,
cover tightly, and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- When the starter is light and bubbly, mix the beer and
milk into the mixture.
- Put the flour and salt into a food processor, then, with
the motor running, add the yeast mixture through the feeding
tube. Process the dough until it forms a ball. Add very
small amounts of additional flour or milk if necessary.
- Process the ball until it is smooth, elastic, and warm,
about 45 seconds to 1 minute.
- Butter a medium-sized bowl, roll the ball around in the
butter, then cover and let rise in a warm place until
doubled. Punch down and let rise a second time.
- While the dough is rising, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil
in a nonstick skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring,
over low heat for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
- Combine the crème fraîche, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add
the cooled onion.
- Heat the remaining oil in the skillet and fry the bacon
until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Remove and drain
through a strainer.
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Oil a 14 x 16 inch baking sheet. Roll the dough until
slightly smaller than the baking sheet. Place it on the
- Spread the onion mixture over the dough, leaving a very
small raised rim all the way around, then dot with the
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tart is lightly
NOTE: To make crème fraîche, combine 1 cup heavy
cream with 2 tablespoons buttermilk, stir, cover with plastic
wrap, and leave at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, or
until it has become very thick. Refrigerate, and it will
become even thicker.
How to Serve :
Serve very hot on a flat wooden board so it can easily be
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