This month for the IFC challenge we are exploring French cuisine. In particular we are cooking from the Alsace-Lorraine region, which inherits partly German and partly French culture. Tarte flambée, kugelhopf and quiche lorraine are the most popular gastronomical specialties from this region and I chose to make the tarte flambée.
Tarte flambée is an Alsatian savory tart of thinly rolled bread dough in the shape of a rectangle or circle. Depending on the region, this dish is also known as Alsatian flammekueche or German Flammkuchen. It is a very thin crust of bread dough topped with crème fraîche or fromage blanc, thinly sliced onions, and small pieces of smoked bacon. In this vegetarian version, I have used soya chunks instead of bacon. You can also use paneer, potato or corn.
TARTE FLAMBÉE RECIPE
For the dough:
1 ¼ cup wheat flour
½ cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
Ice water as needed
For the sauce:
⅓ cup 2% boiled milk
½ cup sour cream
⅓ cup crème fraiche
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg powder
For the topping:
⅓ cup soya chunks
1 large onion, thinly sliced
To marinate soya chunks:
½ tsp red chilli powder
Pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste
To make dough:
1. Take both the flour in a bowl and add the olive oil. Mix the oil with the flour thoroughly using fingers.
2. Now add the ice cold water little by little and form a stiff dough. Be careful not to add more water.
3. Slightly grease the outer surface of the dough with olive oil and cover it using a cling wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
To make the sauce:
1. Mix the sour cream, milk and crème fraiche. Season the cream with nutmeg powder, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Set aside.
1. Add the soya chunks to boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let it remain in the water for 10 minutes. Drain, wash in cold water 2-3 times and squeeze out excess water.
2. Marinate the soya chunks with chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt for 10-15 minutes. In a pan, heat little olive oil and pan fry the soya chunks for 5-7 minutes. Chop into small pieces.
3. In the same pan, saute the finely sliced onions with little bit of olive oil for 2-3 minutes and set aside.
4. Preheat oven to 205 degrees. Line a tray or baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
5. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts. Roll out the dough into a thin circle or rectangular shape and place on the prepared baking tray and form a slight border by pinching the edges upward.
6. Spoon the cream sauce mixture evenly over the pastry. Sprinkle the onion slices, soya chunks and the grated cheese on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
1. Add heavy cream or fresh cream if sour cream is unavailable.
2. Cream cheese, cottage cheese or ricotta cheese can be used instead of crème fraiche.