April 2012: Flammenkueche
April's Featured Recipe: Flammenkueche
Flammenkueche or Tarte flamebée is a well-known Alsacian specialty. 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
- 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 remaning oil in the skillet and fry the bacon until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Remove and drain through a strainer.
- Heat the oven to 450°.
- Oil a 14 x 16 inch baking sheet. Roll the dough until slightly smaller than the baking sheet. Place it on the sheet.
- Spread the onion mixture over the dough, leaving a very small raised rim all the way around, then dot with the bacon.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tart is lightly browned.
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.