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Tarte flambée is an Alsatian dish composed of thin bread dough rolled out in a circle or a rectangle, which is covered with crème fraîche, onions, and lardons. It is one of the most famous gastronomical specialties of the region.[1]

Tarte flambée

Depending on the region, this dish can be called in Alsatian flammekueche, in German Flammkuchen, or in French tarte flambée. There are many variations of the original recipe, in terms both of the dough and of the garniture.[2]

Legend says that the creators of this dish were those Alsatian farmers who used to bake bread once a week. In fact, the tarte was originally a homemade dish which did not make its urban debut until the "pizza craze" of the 1960's. A tarte flambée would be used to test the heat of their wood-fired ovens. At the peak of its temperature, the oven would also have the ideal conditions in which to bake a tarte flambée. The embers would be pushed aside to make room for the tarte in the middle of the oven, and the intense heat would be able to bake it in 1 or 2 minutes. The crust that forms the border of the tarte flambée would be nearly burned by the flames.[3]

The name itself comes from this method of baking, the English translation of the original Alsatian name being "baked in the flames."

In some parts of Alsace the crème fraîche may be replaced by fromage blanc (similar to Quark), or by a mixture of half fromage blanc and half crème fraîche. The result resembles a thin pizza.

References

  1. ^ Villegas, Maria (2005). "Tarte flambée". The food of France: a journey for food lovers. Murdoch Books. pp. 56. ISBN 9781740454711. http://books.google.com/books?id=Rs6rNIeXbqwC&pg=PA56&dq=tarte+flambee&client=firefox-a&cd=8#v=onepage&q=tarte%20flambee&f=false. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Helga Rosemann, Flammkuchen: Ein Streifzug durch das Land der Flammkuchen mit vielen Rezepten und Anregungen (Offenbach: Höma-Verlag, 2009).
  3. ^ Rosemann 4-5.

External links

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Wikibooks

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Cookbook:Flammekueche article)

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

Cookbook | Recipes | Alsatian recipes

Flammkuchen 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.

Ingredients

Starter for the dough

  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup moderately hot water, about 110 degrees F (45 deg C)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 package yeast

Some recipes, like the one used by restaurants in Strasbourg, do not use yeast in the dough.

Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup beer (home brew)
  • 6 tablespoons (¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons) milk

Covering

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium onion (3 ounces), finely chopped
  • 1 cup crème fraîche, commercial or home made (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 pinches nutmeg
  • 3 ounces bacon, cut into matchsticks

Procedure

  1. Mix the starter ingredients together in a small bowl, cover tightly, and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  2. When the starter is light and bubbly, mix the beer and milk into the mixture.
  3. 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.
  4. Process the ball until it is smooth, elastic, and warm, about 45 seconds to 1 minute.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Combine the crème fraîche, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooled onion.
  8. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet and fry the bacon until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Remove and drain through a strainer.
  9. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 deg C) (or as hot as it will go) If using a pizza stone, preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes.
  10. Lightly oil a 14 x 16 inch baking sheet. Roll the dough until slightly smaller than the baking sheet. Place it on the sheet. If using a pizza stone you may roll the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper.
  11. Spread the onion mixture over the dough, leaving a very small raised rim all the way around, then dot with the bacon.
  12. Bake for 4 to 20 minutes depending on oven temp. Tart should is lightly browned & bubbling. Burned/blackened edges are traditional. Serve very hot.

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.


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