Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tarte Flambée

I was offered the opportunity to do a cooking demo for the launch party of the movie Julie and Julia earlier this week, at Cissi's Market.

In honor of Julia Child and Julie Powell, I chose to make a French specialty from the region of Alsace, called une tarte flambee. It's also known as une flammekueche, in Alsatian. I love it, it's basically a very thin tart with a cream and cheese base, covered with onions and bacon. So simple, you guys have to try it!

The ingredients are very simple, though I had to substitute a few because they're too hard to find in the US. The first one is cottage cheese, which replaces fromage blanc, a very soft cow cheese typically served with cream and sugar in France. The second one is sour cream, which replaces creme fraiche, a fatter and softer version of sour cream. Creme fraiche is great to use in sauces or on a tart, sweetened with sugar and vanilla for example.

The typical dough for a tarte flambee is a bread dough; but I have to be honest with you, I actually buy store-bought pizza dough for this recipe. Tarte flambee is a such a quick-fix meal, I sometimes don't want to have to make bread dough from scratch. The key, no matter which dough you use, is to roll it as thin as possible.

I love to serve my tarte flambee along with a simple green salad and eat it with a fork and a knife. However, the real way to enjoy it is to roll it and eat it with your hands.

My personal touch to this recipe is to let the onions marinate a little bit in white wine (preferably a white wine from Alsace like a Riesling or a Gewurztraminer). Once the tarte is baked, it gives a wonderful tangy bite and warmth. It's amazing!


1 bread dough or pizza dough, homemade or store-bought

1 medium yellow onion

½ cup of white wine (Riesling or Gewustraminer)

6 slices of bacon, ¼ inch thick

1 cup of 4 % fat cottage cheese, small curd

1/3 cup crème fraiche or sour cream

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp salt

freshly ground pepper

drizzle of vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 450 F degrees.

Cut the onion in half, peel it and slice it as thinly as possible. In a bowl, combine it with the white wine and let is sit for at least 15 minutes.

Cut the bacon into matchstick size, working with 2 slices piled at a time. Set aside.

In the food processor, combine the creme fraiche (or sour cream), the cottage cheese, the nutmeg, salt and pepper, until smooth. Set aside.On a floured surface, roll the dough as thinly as possible, so it fits onto a greased large baking sheet (about 12” x 17”).

Using a spatula spread the cream and cottage cheese mixture onto the dough, leaving a ½ inch edge all around. Pat the onions dry onto paper towels and spread evenly all over the dough. Spread the bacon evenly all over. Drizzle the top with oil.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp. Serve right away out of the oven, along with a simple green salad. Pair with an Alsatian white wine (the one you used in the recipe).


Claudine said...

That looks fantastic! If it wasn't 105 degrees out I would make that tonight!

Jodi said...

mmmm - sounds delicious! i'm sorry that i missed the presentation but i was leaving for vacation the next day and had to go home and take care of last-minute packing, etc.

Randall Hennig said...

I have found both creme fraiche and fromage blanc at Central Market. There are some brands I found that didn't taste so great, but Bellwether Farms makes both of those products and tasted pretty good to me, although you'll have to judge for yourself - I only had their creme fraiche though (made some mashed potatoes with it). There is also a Vermont Butter & Cheese brand, but I preferred the Bellwether myself.

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Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener said...

it used to be one of my favorite pizza...tarte flambee. I use to tease an alsation friend about "tarte brulee" still eating more than my fair share.

Time to make some! Thanks for timely reminder. It's cooler here, and I have always associated tarte flambee with cooler weather.

the itinerant epicure said...

Génial! J'ai cherché partout pour un blog avec un recette pour les tartes flambées, j'ai vécu 9 ans a Strasbourg et une des choses qui me manquent le plus c'est les flammkeuche! J'ai hate d'essayer ta recette - au moins ici en angleterre, on trouve la crème fraiche et le fromage frais sans problème!

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