Flammkuchen (Onion, Bacon, and Creme Fraiche Tart)

October 5th, 2008  |  Published in All, Around the World, Delectable Dairy, Most Popular, Onion, Sausages, Meats, Veritable Vegetables, Weekend Projects  |  24 Comments

Flamekuche (Onion, Bacon, and Creme Fraiche Tart)
Flammkuchen photo courtesy of lejoe on Flickr

Flamekuche (Onion, Bacon, and Creme Fraiche Tart)

1 recipe of your favorite pizza dough
2 medium white onions, cut in half vertically then sliced very thin
1 c. creme fraiche
about 1/2 c. diced bacon
freshly ground black pepper
freshly ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

On a sheet of parchment paper, roll the pizza dough out very thin so it is about the size of your baking sheet.  Place crust (still on parchment paper) onto baking sheet and stretch the edges if they shrank back while transferring the dough.

Mix onions and creme fraiche in a bowl, then spread mixture evenly over crust.  Sprinkle diced bacon over top, then add a few grinds of black pepper and a few pinches of nutmeg.  Bake 15-20 minutes, until crust is lightly browned and crispy.  Enjoy!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Wilkommen nach Deutschland!

Ok, full-disclosure time:  I haven’t yet made this myself, but I watched very carefully as it was made in front of me at the home of one of my co-workers here in Germany earlier this evening.  The whole time I was thinking, I’m really going to like this — simple, boldly flavored ingredients, a traditional french/german preparation… So, I made sure to take very detailed mental notes so that I could try to reproduce it at home.

Flammkuchen is far more than the sum of its parts.  You might think that with just five ingredients (other than the crust) that you’d get something bland or with a flavor skewed too far in one direction.  Not so!  The onions, bacon, and creme fraiche are a magical trio — the bite of the onion lightens the creme fraiche which cuts the saltiness of the bacon which compliments the pungent onion — these are no doubt bold flavors but in the end the dish isn’t at all overwhelming.  It’s in fact incredibly delicious — so delicious that after the dinner party I came straight back to my hotel and wrote up the recipe so I wouldn’t forget it.  Not that there’s much to forget, there being a grand total of five ingredients…

To accompany the flamekuche we had glasses of both white and red Federweisser, also known as Suser, Junger Wein (young wine), or Sturm (translates to storm — called this due to its cloudy appearance).  Federweisser is on the sweet side, and has a nice bubbly zing to it.  It is the product of fermented freshly pressed grape juice, and as far as I know isn’t much available in the US (if you know of anywhere it is available, do leave a comment!)  I have vague recollections of trying Sturm when I stayed in Linz and not being wild about it, but drinking it alongside its traditional partner flammkuchen was certainly a great way to start out my trip.

It may be sacrilegious, but when I make this at home I might consider adding a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley, or perhaps half with parsley, half without to do a side-by-side comparison, traditional french/german v. california adaptation…  anyhow, Guten Appetit!

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Responses

  1. Saltpepperlime says:

    October 5th, 2008at 11:24 pm(#)

    Nice one, Jen! I love Flamenkuche – especially when I have nice crisp dry Riesling to go with it. Am looking forward to hearing more of your german gastronomic adventures.

  2. Hiroko says:

    October 6th, 2008at 5:59 am(#)

    yummmm – my favorite dish! onion tart is fantastic too – similar flavor. please try.

  3. maybelles mom (feeding maybelle) says:

    October 6th, 2008at 6:42 am(#)

    Oh, I am glad you are eating well in Germany. Looks wonderful (though I too would want the parsley.)

  4. Jen says:

    October 6th, 2008at 12:08 pm(#)

    Saltpepperlime — a dry riesling would go wonderfully with flamekuche — I’ll try it when I make it at home

    Hiroko — what sort of crust do you like for onion tart? puff pastry? regular tart crust?

    maybelles mom — so far, the food has been great. The last time I was here I remember a distinct lack of vegetables, so this time around I’m stopping at the supermarket and picking up some easy-to-eat-raw veggies like cucumbers, carrots, and peppers to eat alongside everything else.

  5. Robert says:

    October 7th, 2008at 7:33 am(#)

    Flammekuchen ist easier on the stomach if you cook the freshly chopped onion in a bit of butter until glassy before putting it on the flammekuchen. Gives also a smoother taste.
    Btw: parsley goes well with this. but put it on a bit later. It gets bitter fast.

  6. A. L. Venable says:

    October 7th, 2008at 11:51 am(#)

    Ah, that reminds me of my time studying at the University of Strasbourg in France. There it was called tarte flambee in addition to flammekuchen. I agree that it goes quite well with a nice Riesling, preferably Alsatian. :)

  7. Beth says:

    October 7th, 2008at 4:01 pm(#)

    Flammkuchen is the best, and there are more than one delicious varieties. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Jen says:

    October 8th, 2008at 7:34 am(#)

    Robert — thanks for the tip about sauteing the onions a bit before adding them to the flammekuchen!

    Beth — what other varieties are there?

  9. khunying says:

    October 13th, 2008at 11:05 am(#)

    Hi Jen,

    I really like your blog. I would really like to share your blog with other people, so I listed your blog in this directory.

    Many of your readers can also vote for you by giving you a star too here. Thank you for sharing with us.

  10. Hiroko says:

    November 4th, 2008at 12:25 am(#)

    here’s a recipe for tarte a l’oignon. yes, it is alsacien.

    http://www.linternaute.com/femmes/cuisine/recette/305466/1384405027/tarte_a_l_oignon.shtml

  11. Jen says:

    November 4th, 2008at 9:12 am(#)

    Hiroko — thanks! that look delicious! one question though — how much is “1 pot moyen”? does it mean something like “small container”?

  12. denise says:

    November 17th, 2008at 2:39 pm(#)

    this looks great, but our little market in town does not carry creme fraiche. can i substitute sour cream? thanks! -denise

  13. Jen says:

    November 17th, 2008at 2:46 pm(#)

    denise – I think that sour cream would work just fine. also, I’ve made this again since posting it originally, and I would recommend 1) using just enough creme fraiche / sour cream to coat the onions (could be anywhere from 1/2 – 1 c. depending on the size of your onions), and 2) partially precook the bacon pieces and drain off the grease. This made for a better result than the first time I tried it. I hope you enjoy it!

  14. Alex says:

    November 18th, 2008at 8:57 am(#)

    Oh, this stuff is so good. A great way to warm up on a cold winter’s afternoon.

  15. khunying says:

    December 2nd, 2008at 1:08 pm(#)

    Just wanted to let you know that my husband and son love this dish alot. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Anne Sandman says:

    January 12th, 2009at 1:40 pm(#)

    Hey Jen, just came across your blog this afternoon and was browsing the archives… this tart (which looks delicious) seems vaguely reminiscent of a tart I’ve made several times before: one large or two medium yellow onions (sliced and cooked gently in butter until you can squish them with your fingers), brie, and fresh thyme over a sheet of puff pastry. I bet that, like so many things, it would benefit from the addition of a bit of bacon. It’s hard to go wrong with pastry/dough, onion, dairy, and bacon!

  17. joel says:

    August 6th, 2009at 2:06 pm(#)

    Just an observation: An Alsatian friend tried to make it here in the US using pizza dough and was very disappointed; it wasn’t thin enough for her despite rolling it out to 1/16 of an inch. She said that it was too much like a pizza.

    We subsequently tried it using a different method. We rolled out the dough, same a before, but poked some holes in it using a fork, and put it into the oven for a few minutes. When we took it out, it had puffed up even though we had poked it. We then took the rolling pin to it and voila, it flattened right out.

    We then topped it, popped it back into the oven…it was fantastic.

  18. Christa says:

    September 8th, 2010at 9:47 pm(#)

    we always make extra dough and eat them as dessert topped with creme fraiche Apple, Sugar and Cinnamon. With a little Grappa or so flambe the Flammenkuchen and enjoy!!!!!

  19. Bridget says:

    November 2nd, 2010at 2:51 pm(#)

    I had this in Germany this summer and just made it–delicious! I didn’t have any creme fraiche either, so I took a cup of whipping cream and added a tablespoon of buttermilk (but you can use yogurt instead) and let it sit out on the counter overnight with a loose lid. Then I put it in the fridge till I was ready to use it–yummy!

  20. Jen says:

    November 8th, 2010at 1:47 pm(#)

    Bridget – Thanks for the creme fraiche tip! I almost always have cream and buttermilk around (cream for coffee and buttermilk because my boyfriend is obsessed with buttermilk biscuits), but when a recipe calls for creme fraiche it usually means a trip to the store for me.

  21. Sarah says:

    September 21st, 2011at 12:06 am(#)

    From Boston Living in Germany… We just enjoyed a nice evening with friends eating zweibel kuchen (onion cake) a variation of flammkuchen and drinking weiss Federwein. I wanted to point out that you probably will not find the wine in the US… reason being… the alcohol content is not defined. It can range from 0-10% and changes the older the wine becomes… one week it is 5% and next week it can be 8%. However, Federwein is not hard to make. SInce it is refrigerated and not bottled for later there isn’t so much stress about corking and so on. Or… contact a winery and see if they can offer or can make it… Guten Apetit!

  22. Cleveland Johnson says:

    March 6th, 2013at 8:59 pm(#)

    Flammkuchen is my favorite party food. Strictly speaking, the dough should be unleavened (no yeast) so pizza dough isn’t really authentic. But unleavened dough is pretty simple and fool-proof to make: flour, water, salt., perhaps a splash of oil well-kneaded. (You might let the dough sit in the fridge overnight in plastic wrap, if you like.)

    You REALLY need to bake this on a pizza stone in the hottest oven you an get. 550 degrees minimum! The crust should be thin and crispy.

    I like to sautee the onions before applying. As vegetarian, the secret is to use finely-cubed BAKED SMOKED TOFU as a substitute for the lardon (bacon).

    To reduce fat, with minimal influence on taste, you can substitue low-fat cottage cheese (I blend it to make it creamier) for the creme fraiche. Blended silken tofu could be used to make the recipe vegan.

    Drink, of course, with a nice dry riesling!!!

    (…from a former Watson fellow!)

  23. Sheri says:

    March 13th, 2013at 1:15 pm(#)

    My ex-boyfriend is Alsacian and he made this for me some time ago, to die for!

    I am always tempted to carmelize onions, but for this, I disagree. The key is to slice the onions super thin and not have them be more than one layer thick.

    Also, the bacon being very thin is paramount for me and uncooked. It all gets cooked, but just right when very thin.

    I just found this blog and have to say, I love it!

    @Cleveland, thanks for your input for vegan option ideas(I’ve been eating vegan for a couple weeks now)

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