Rick Stein's Tarte Flambée
I was first introduced to tarte flambée with the explanation that it’s France’s answer to pizza. In fact, though, it’s not much like pizza at all, apart from being very thin and savoury, and as it is made with unleavened dough it bakes very crisply indeed, which is its great quality. Like pizza, it’s best baked in a wood oven, especially when the wood embers are pushed aside from the base of the oven and slightly burn the edges – hence the name tarte flambée, or in Alsace, where the dish comes from, flammekueche. I know you can get tarte flambée in London but why it isn’t as famous as pizza escapes me. It’s just as good, almost better dare I say, when made with bacon lardons and Emmental or Gruyère. It comes in big discs or rectangles, but I find the rectangles are more convenient, as you can fit two on a standard domestic oven baking sheet.
|For the dough:|
|250g||plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting|
|2 tbsp||sunflower oil|
|For the topping:|
|250g||full-fat crème fraiche|
|1||large onion, finely sliced|
|160g||smoked bacon lardons, fried until browned|
|250g||Emmental or Gruyère cheese or a mixture, grated|
|a few rasps||freshly grated nutmeg|
|salt and black pepper|
Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, then add the water and oil and bring everything together to make rough dough. Transfer the dough to a floured board and knead well. Roll the dough into 2 rectangles, each measuring about 25 x 28cm.
Preheat the oven to 230°C/Fan 210°C or as hot as your oven will go. Spread the crème fraiche over the dough, leaving a little border around the edges, then dot with the onion, lardons and grated cheese. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Bake for 10–12 minutes or until the base is crisp and the cheese is bubbling. Slide the tarts on to a wooden board and use a pizza cutter to cut them into portions. Serve immediately with drinks or as a light lunch with a green salad.