Sunday, 23 April 2017

Tarte Flambée (Flammkuche) - Alsatian pizza with smoky bacon and cheese

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Tarte Flambée (Flammkuche) is Alsatian take on pizzza. Wonderfully easy and bacony treat!

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After another delightful day with my gorgeous Gothenburger I grabbed his hand, looked deep into his eyes and (in an apparent attempt at Femme Fatale) whispered in my most soulfully deep voice the following question: "you know what I love?"

He looked back at me, flashing that smile of his that makes me all weak at the knees and answered, in an every bit as seductive voice: "pizza."

Romantic moment. So totally over. 

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Though I suppose it won't come as a surprise to anyone who's ever read this blog: I really, truly, madly love pizza (hey - I've even featured a breakfast pizza on the blog!)

But seeing how I still have some issues with cheese (rather essential part of the pizza, non?), I'm particularly fond of different local pizza varieties around the world that don't feature it, such as Turkish lahmacun and pide and Arabic sfiha which is one of my favourite recipes in my new book.

There are some serious treats to be found in Europe, too: Alsace is not just one my favourite wine regions in the world - it's also home to Tarte Flambée which either might or might not have cheese in it. No wonder I'm so into it - the most popular version is laced with bacon. 

And bacon, as we all know, equals love. Oh, it does - ask anyone

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The lack of cheese won't mean dry, though (as my Italian potato and rosemary pizza shows) - this is something that a generous dollop of crème fraîche takes care of.

Tarte Flambée is something that one doesn't often come across in Finland, but the one they make at Wistub Alsace in Tampere is so good it just might warrant a day trip all on its own. 

And in case you need more inspiration for Tampere, Finland's answer to Gothenburg, just check the blog over here and here.

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Depending on the region Tarte Flambée is also known as Flammkuche. Initially it was a rustic fare that the German-speaking farmers would make at home and it only started appearing on restaurant menus during 1960's pizza boom. 

This version is called Gratinée. Other popular versions include Forestière (with mushrooms) and Münster (topped with its namesake cheese), but there's also a sweet dessert version featuring cinnamon, thinly sliced apples and usually a sprinkling of Calvados.

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makes 2 large ones or 4 smaller ones 

Tarte Flambée Gratinée - Alsatian pizza with smoky bacon and cheese 

the base:

2,5 tsp dry yeast
1,5 tsp sugar
1,5 dl warm water
1,5 tbsp oil
4 dl flour (00- grade if possible)
1/2 tsp salt


150 g tub of crème fraîche
a couple of handfuls of grated cheese (Gruyère is a classic choice)
140 g (smoky) bacon
1 small onion, thinly sliced

To serve: finely chopped chives (optional), freshly ground black pepper

Combine dry yeast, water and sugar and leave aside, covered for 5 minutes while the yeast activates. 

Then add oil, flour (and along with the last dl of flour) salt. Knead into a smooth dough. Cover with cling film and leave to double in size in a warm place for an hour. 

Pre-heat the oven to 250ºc  at this point (in a fan assisted oven 230 should do). If you have a pizza stone, leave in in the oven. If not, then do the same with the tray.

Cut the bacon into strips of desired size and cook in a pan over medium heat until they start to get crunchy. Remove from the pan (using a slotted spoon) and transer aside. 

Divide the dough into 2 or 4 balls. Roll each out into a thin disc. You shouldn't need any more flour at this point, so it's easiest to do this on a parchment, which in turn makes it easy to flip it over onto hot tray. 

Pre-bake the base for about 4 minutes, Smear the base with crème fraîche and sprinkle the grated cheese on top of it. Top with bacon and thinly sliced onion rings and continue cooking until cheese has melted.

Garnish with chives (if using) and black pepper. Serve. 

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For more pizza recipes on the blog, just click on the following:

Has Tarte Flambée/ Flammkuche stolen your hearts already?



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