Recipe – Tarte Flambée (Flammekueche)

Tarte Flambée (Flammekueche)
This traditional flatbread from Alsace is very similar to pizza. My Alsatian friend Isabelle, who serves it whenever friends gather at her house for drinks, doesn’t use a written recipe – but this one was inspired by watching her make it. It’s best to get everything prepared ahead of time, in fact the dough’s easier to roll if you let it double in size, divide into balls, pop them into freezer bags and refrigerate overnight. Then you can roll and assemble an hour or so ahead of time and just bake them as guests arrive. This recipe makes a lot, enough for 8 people if you want to serve it as a meal with salad. You could halve it, but you’ll be surprised how quickly it disappears. Extra toppings (like mushrooms, chives, gruyere or munster cheese) are sometimes added … but I like the classic tarte flambée best. This is the perfect excuse to open a delicious Alsatian riesling such as the Peter Weber Grand Cru from Altenberg de Bergheim, imported by Winebubble.

Makes 4 tarts

Ingredients
  • 500ml crème frâiche
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper,
    to taste
  • 3 brown onions, finely shaved
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 300g speck, cut into small thin strips 

Dough

  • 14g dried yeast
  • 500ml water
  • 750g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon salt flakes
Method
  1. Make Dough: stir yeast into water and set aside for 10-20 minutes, until it starts to foam. Add to combined flour and salt and mix to form a soft dough. Tip onto a lightly floured bench and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and not too sticky. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and set aside in a warm place for an hour or 2, until doubled in size.
  2. Meanwhile, combine crème frâiche, egg yolk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed.
  3. Toss onion with oil, salt and pepper. Set aside until needed then tip into a fine sieve to drain.
  4. Preheat oven to 250°C.
  5. Tip dough onto a lightly floured bench, roll into a log, then divide into 4 pieces.
  6. Roll a piece of dough into a rectangle as thin as possible, at least 35 x 20cm, and place on a baking paper-lined oven tray.
  7. Spread a quarter of the crème frâiche mixture on top and scatter with a quarter of the onion then a quarter of the speck.
  8. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until the base is crisp and top is bubbling and well-coloured.
  9. Cut tarte flambée into slices and serve immediately. 

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