If you are a fan of pizza (who isn’t?), and specifically Pizza Bianca, you must try an Alsatian alternative – Tarte Flambée. It is easier and quicker to make since it doesn’t require any proving time, it has a lovely crisp base and all the lovely toppings, including creme fraiche, cheese and bacon. Deviating from the norm, we also added some seasonal asparagus to the mix. It’s delicious!
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What is Tarte Flambée?
Tart Flambee is often likened to a pizza or even called a ‘French answer to pizza’. I personally don’t see it. Tarte Flambee is normally made with unleavened dough that turns out much crisper after time in the oven. The base is traditionally covered with creme fraiche, lots of onion and bacon. Simple, but universally accepted as delicious! Some variations include Tarte Flambée made with Gruyere (Gratinée), some made with mushrooms instead of bacon (Forestière), or some very strong-smelling Munster cheese.
Our Version Of This Delicious Alsatian Tart
We made a variation of our own. Tarte Flambée with asparagus (or Tarte Flambée Aux Asperges). After all, asparagus is in season right now in the UK, so we simply couldn’t resist. What is more, asparagus is one of the strongest tasting vegetables that can stand up to the flavours of bacon and onion.
Half of Seb’s family is from Alsace, but Seb claims he’s never had Tarte Flambée before he’s met me. These days Seb prefers Tarte Flambée over a traditional Italian pizza made with tomato sauce.
When I was looking for inspiration for this post, I asked Seb about what his thoughts and memories were about the food of Alsace. After a few seconds of deep thought, he said firmly: “Choucroute, Galette des Rois and Macaroons!!!” I’ve only been to visit Seb’s family in Alsace once but one thing is for sure. Hearty food cooked in large quantities meant to be shared with friends and family. I may not be able to replicate all the lovely meals Seb’s Grand-Maman and auntie cooked (I will never forget the Coq au Riesling with Spätzle), but I am certainly proud of my Alsatian-inspired Tarte Flambée.
Method: How To Make Tarte Flambée?
To make the base, mix plain and spelt flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the water and oil to the well and using your hands, bring them together to make a dough. Knead for about 5 minutes, then cover and leave to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
After the dough has rested, on a flour-dusted surface, roll it into two thin oblongs, each measuring around 20x25cm (8x10in).
For the topping, cut the bacon into small pieces (you can use cubed pancetta if you like). Fry the bacon pieces in a frying pan until they are crispy and starting to brown. Place the bacon on a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.
Preheat the oven to 210°C Fan. Line two baking trays/ sheets with baking parchment. Carefully lift the rolled-out dough bases onto the trays.
Leaving about 1.5cm edge, spread the crème fraîche over dough bases. It may seem like a lot of creme fraiche, but keep going, trust me, it will be delicious! Scatter the thinly sliced onion, then top with grated cheese (we tried it with Gouda, Emmental, Gruyere and mature Cheddar, and they all work great). Arrange the asparagus on top and scatter the crispy bacon. If you have very thick asparagus, cut them in half lengthways. Alternatively, use asparagus tips. Finally, sprinkle some black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg on top.
Place the trays in the oven for approx. 12-15 minutes. Your Tart Flambee base should be crisp and the cheese melted.
What To Serve Tarte Flambée With?
We love a nice fresh salad with our pizzas and tarts. Why not try this Alsatian Pizza with:
Other Recipes To Try
If you tried our Tarte Flambée with Bacon and Asparagus, we’d love to hear what you thought in the comments below. You may also enjoy the following recipes:
Tarte Flambée with Bacon and Asparagus
For the Base:
- 100 g plain white flour
- 85 g spelt flour (or substitute with the same amount of plain flour)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 110 ml lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the Topping:
- 100 g bacon unsmoked, cut into small pieces
- 120 g creme fraiche
- 1 brown onion thinly sliced
- 100 g Gruyere, Emmental or Gouda use Cheddar if you can't find them, grated
- 100 g asparagus tips cut in half lengthways, if thick
- a pinch of nutmeg
- To make the base, mix both types of flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the water and oil to the well and using your hands, bring together to make a dough. Knead for about 5 minutes, then cover and leave to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. On a flour-dusted surface, roll the dough into two thin oblongs, each measuring around 20x25cm (8x10in).
- For the topping, fry the bacon pieces in a frying pan until they are crispy and starting to brown. Place the bacon on a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.
- Preheat the oven to 210 C Fan. Line a large baking tray (or two) with baking parchment. Carefully lift the rolled out dough bases onto the trays.
- Leaving about 1.5cm edge, spread the crème fraîche over dough bases. Scatter the thinly sliced onion, then top with grated cheese. Arrange the asparagus on top and scatter the crispy bacon. Finally, sprinkle some black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg on top.
- Place the trays in the oven for approx. 12-15 minutes. Your Tart Flambee base should be crisp and the cheese melted. Serve with a green salad!