Posted by: Stephlechef | April 30, 2012

Tarte flambée (after a very long blog break!)

Well, haven’t I been a terrible little blogger? It’s all for a good cause though, I’ve been focusing my efforts on getting onto the postgraduate course I wanted (which has worked out very well) and in the shorter term, finding a job (nicht so well, but I’m getting there). Anyway, so that’s why my imitation recipes and dodgy photography haven’t graced your screens for a while… but this tart was so good it had to be shared.

I first fell in love with tarte flambée/flammekueche when I went to Strasbourg in 2007. It was a local charity-funded trip to the European Parliament for languages students, but they actually also did a fairly good job at attempting to enlighten us about some cultural bits and bobs too (better organised than any school trip!). Anyway, for one of the evening meals, we went to a restaurant which, if memory serves me correctly, ONLY served this dish. You had a large one, pizza-stylee, to share between four, with just the basic ingredients on… and then they brought out another one. And each following tarte had an additional ingredient – mushrooms, cheese etc. But they were absolutely beautiful. So when I had some leftover pizza dough this weekend, I finally got around to making my own!

This is the Strasbourg restaurant version:

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…and this is mine! I couldn’t get over how good this was, I just kept staring at it… and then having another piece!

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(burnt onions unintentional, but actually very nice)

Tarte Flambée

(this would serve 4 for a big lunch or small dinner, with some sides and salad it’d be fine… or just make double :))

Basic pizza dough (I’ll include a recipe below)

One large white/yellow onion (I think white is probably traditional, I didn’t check a recipe, but I only had yellow!)

A packet (200g) of smoked lardons

Creme fraiche (I use low-fat, because it works exactly the same imo)

Roll out the pizza dough to two “a4” sized squares/circles (I know a circle can’t be a4, but you know… I only have a rectangular tray) and leave to rest.

Thinly slice the onions. Now, for the next bit, I’m pretty sure it’s not necessary, and it’s probably preferable to have some texture to the onions, but I absolutely can’t eat an onion which is anything less than cooked, it gives me the most horrendous headaches (I don’t know why), so I fried them very very gently over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, until they had softened but not coloured. (perhaps this is why my onions burnt on the edges) And then I added the lardons at the last minute. Drain it all off on some kitchen roll.

Top the pizza bases with creme fraiche, I used about 80-100g I suppose for one square.

Sprinkle the lardons and the onion over, and cook in a fairly hot oven for 15minutes or so, until the pizza base is done. (It’s best on a pizza tray, but I don’t have one, so I cook the raw pizza on a normal baking tray, then to crisp up its bottom I manoeuvre it onto a grill rack for the last few minutes of cooking.

Then eat it! And marvel at the delicious simplicity 🙂

A very easy, quick version of this which would probably taste just as good, would be if you got some ready-rolled puff pastry, roll it out even thinner and top it with the ingredients and bake it. Laaavly.

Basic Pizza Dough

This is far, far better than buying ready-made bases, and not at all difficult, as long as you put the effort into the kneading. Also, I’ve found that it lasts perfectly well in the fridge for a day, just wrap it up after the rising process and leave it until you want it!

320ml warm water

500g strong white bread flour

1/2 tbsp sea salt

1 sachet (7g) yeast

1/2 tbsp sugar (I think I misread this and used 1/2 tsp, it still worked fine!)

2 tbsp olive oil

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and combine with a spoon until they come together in ball (it will be pretty sticky)

Plonk out of the bowl onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, until dough is springy and smooth. (You will probably “knead” lots of flour to stop it sticking, harhar)

Place in an oiled bowl (I use a squirt or two of 1-cal spray) and cover. Leave in a warm place to rise for 45mins or so.

When it’s risen, it’s ready!

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