Tarte Flambe (Flammekueche)


Alsatian onion and bacon pizza can be a festive appetizer or a full meal. It is called Tarte Flambe in France, Flammekueche in Germany, and it is trench warfare in the Alsace as to who makes the best. Dating from the Roman Empire, flatbreads were put in the oven with shavings of fat, or a light coating of farm cheese and toppings. Begin at least 3 hours ahead with the recipe for Tarte Flambe Basic Bread Dough. I served this at a San Francisco winter party with gourmet sausages and crisp cold beer.
1 recipe Tarte Flambe 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 (1/4")
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
6 oz salt pork, rind removed, cut into matchsticks (2" long, 3/16" square)
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 Combine onion, cheese, creme, salt & pepper in bowl.

2 Take salt pork, cut off rind. Slice 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 bacon.

5 Bake 15-20 minutes at 475° 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 A substitute for creme fraiche is to mix 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 tablespoon buttermilk; set between 4-12 hours. An improved replacement is to find barely-aged creamy soft farmer's cheese. Salt pork is also called side pork. If you can't find salt pork, thick slab bacon will do. Fresh white onions are key. Yellow onions can substitute, but they don't have the bite.

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