An Alsatian Classic and Friends – Four Tarte Flambée Variations

When summer is starting to fade to fall it is time to whip out an old classic and favorite: The tarte flambée. Originally from the Alsace, an area in North-Eastern France that was passed back and forth between both Germany and France throughout the centuries, it is a wide spread delicacy in Western Europe. Its light and crispy dough with hearty or sweet toppings makes for a great dinner on a warm fall day with family or friends.

The original classic is topped with Creme Fraîche or sour cream, white onions and lardon. However, there is a large variety of toppings you can use to make your own. This September has been particularly warm, so the other day I was having a nice dinner in the backyards with my parents and whipped up four different Tarte Flambée four us. You can bake them in the normal oven, but I chose to use a pizza stone to achieve an even better and more crispy result. But baking them on a parchment covered cookie sheet will do just fine. Below I will introduce the recipe for the dough and then introduce the classic and the three additional variations I made that day.

Tarte Flambée Dough

450g Flour (3 3/4 cup)
260ml Milch or Water (1 cup + 1 Tbsp)
1.5 Tsp Salt
1.5 Tsp Sugar

Sift flower into a large bowl, then knead in all the ingredients until the dough is smooth and not too sticky. If needed add additional flour. Divide the dough into four equal parts – or more if you wish to make several personal tartes. The dough is ready as is.

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Roll out the dough on a layer of parchment until it is a little thicker than a CD (No thicker than 0.1 inch).

All tartes are baked at 450F for 3-6 min or the temperature your pizza stone needs to heat through.

The Classic: Onion and Lardon

Additional Ingredients:

  • 2 small onions sliced
  • 1/2 cup cubed Lardon
  • 4 Tbsp Creme Fraîche/ Sour Cream
  • Black Pepper

Cover your rolled out dough in a generous layer of creme fraîche or sour cream. Then add onions and sprinkle the preferred amount of lardon on top – I am not really a fan of it, others like to go a little overboard with it… so whatever floats your boat is perfect.

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When the tarte bakes you will see bubbles pop up which is perfectly fine. Here you can see a super glamorous shot through the oven door onto the classic tarte baking away on the pizza stone. Usually you are supposed to pop the dough right on the stone… I have a talent to flip the dough and have half of the toppings ending up on the stone… so I’m rather safe than sorry and keep the parchment under the dough even when using the stone.

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When the tarte comes out, just garnish it with some freshly ground pepper and dig it.

Look at this beauty!!!

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The Italian: Cheese, Tomatoes, Arugula and other goodies

My two favorite pizzas are simple and basic classics that allow you to taste the flavors of each ingredient: parmaham and arugula is one favorite, fresh tomatoes and basil another. So I decided to combine both of these pizzas into an italian inspired Tarte Flambée

Additional Ingredients:

  • Three medium sized tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese (alternatively Parmesan or Grana Padano)
  • 4 Tbsp Creme Fraîche/ Sour Cream
  • Fresh Basil
  • Fresh Arugula
  • Parma Ham
  • Pine Nuts

Again, cover the dough in a rich layer of creme fraîche or sour cream, then cover it with the cheese of your choice. Add the sliced tomatoes and pine nuts.

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Once the dough is crisp and golden, the cheese molten and the tomatoes slightly soft, take the tarte out of the oven, add basil and parma ham. Put back into the oven for about 30 seconds. Then cover with a heap of arugula salad. Dig in an enjoy with lighter mixed up version of two classic pizza recipes.

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The Black Forrest Tarte: Spring onions, Walnuts and Black Forrest Ham

Additional Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp Creme Fraîche/ Sour Cream
  • 2 Spring Onions Sliced
  • Walnuts chopped
  • Black Forrest Ham

After spreading the Creme Fraîche or Sour Cream onto the dough, add a generous amount of sliced spring onions and walnuts. The Ham is added after baking. If you wish make a vegetarian option, add some salt and pepper after baking to elevate the taste.

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French Delight: Camembert and Cowberry Jam

As a sweet finish I decided to stay away from the delicious apple, cinnamon and sugar tarte – which is delicious but I was determined to explore new options. I still had an untouched camembert wheel in the fridge and we all are fans of breaded, backed camembert with cowberry jam so I decided to give this one a try.

Additional Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp Creme Fraîche/ Sour Cream
  • Camembert
  • Cowberry Jam

Add Creme Fraîche or sour cream onto the dough. Bake for about half or 3/4 of your baking time. Then take the tarte out of the oven any layer on the camembert and bake for the remaining 2-3 minutes. If you add the cheese right from the start of the baking time, it will melt into one covering layer. While it will taste just fine, it does not look very nice. After baking, add little dots of cowberry jam all over it.

Shame on me, but I forgot to take a picture of this last tarte.

 

 

 

 

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