Tarte Flambé (Flammekueche)


12th-century pizza, anyone? Although tomatoes would not be discovered until the 16th century, medieval households made a form of pizza. Dating from the Roman Empire, flatbreads were put in the oven with shavings of fat. Alsatian onion and bacon pizza calls upon the ancient recipe. This dish can be a festive appetizer or a full meal. It is called Tarte Flambé in France, Flammekueche in Germany, and it is trench warfare in the Alsace as to who makes the best. Begin at least 3 hours ahead making the recipe for Tarte Flambé Basic Bread Dough. One San Francisco winter party ago, this went well with gourmet sausages and crisp cold beer.
1 recipe Tarte Flambé; Basic Bread Dough to make 2 ten-inch pies
1/2 cup ricotta or cottage cheese
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1 white onion sliced medium-thin, about 1/4 inch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
6 oz salt pork, rind removed, cut into matchsticks, 2" long by 3/16" square
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 Combine onion, cheese, creme, salt & pepper in a bowl.

2 Cut rind off salt pork. Slice pork into thin matchsticks. If super-salty, cut matchsticks in half.

3 Roll dough into two 10-inch circles and place each on its own pizza pan.

4 Spread onion mix evenly on rolled-out dough. Space out salt pork.

5 Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 475°F to crisp.

6 Top with fresh ground black pepper. Cut into eighths. Serve immediately.

10-inch pizzas  use metric
original recipe yield: 4 Servings
Notes NOTE A substitute for creme fraiche is to mix 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 tablespoon buttermilk; set between 4-12 hours. If you can't find salt pork (aka side pork), thick slab bacon will work. Fresh white onions are preferable to yellow onions for their stronger flavor.

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