While on a business trip this past summer to Frankfurt, I dined on some fantastic Alsatian tartes (Flammkuchen in German, tarte flambée in French). As the name suggests, this tarte has its origins in the Alsace region of France that borders Germany (and was part of Germany in past history), but they are very popular in Frankfurt, as well (and Montréal, where I tasted them for the first time several years ago). I have to say, the Frankfurter version is absolutely delicious, so I did my best to recreate it at home! Rustic and wonderful — here it is…I hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think!
1 1/4-oz packet yeast
1 c warm water
4 oz bacon, finely diced
14 oz flour (weight)
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/4 tsp salt, divided
7 oz crème fraîche
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
3 leeks, thinly sliced cross-wise (white part only)
2 oz grated Gruyère cheese
4 green onions, chopped
Preaheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, with a pizza stone on the lowest level.
Stir yeast into warm water and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat bacon in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes (do not overdo it on the stove top, as bacon will cook further in the oven). Remove bacon to paper towels with a slotted spoon.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, water/yeast mixture, olive oil and 1 tsp salt. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, tuning once to coat the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm area for 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl, stir together crème fraîche, 1 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper and nutmeg.
Turn dough back onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a thin round piece, about 10 or so inches in diameter. Spread 1/4 of the crème fraîche mixture evenly onto each tarte. Repeat with the leeks and Gruyère.
Using a pizza peel, slide tartes onto hot pizza stone (I only had room to cook one at a time). Bake 10 – 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Garnish with chopped green onions and serve.