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Apple & Onion Flammekueche (Tarte Flambée)

Crisp and delectable apple and onion flammekueche (tarte flambée) that might just change plain old pizza night forever.


Flammekueche (tarte flambée) is a wonderful, pizza-like creation that originated in Alsace, the border region between France and Germany. It consists of a thinly rolled bread dough topped with a sauce of crème fraîche or sour cream, onions, white cheese, and other toppings. In this version, I have opted for very thinly sliced apples, which adds a mild sweetness, but more savoury toppings are typical, like bacon, pancetta, or other lardons.


Unfortunately, this recipe is not gluten-free or dairy-free, but it is suitable for ovo-lacto vegetarians. It can be made dairy-free with a few vegan cheese and sour cream substitutes.


To make this flammekueche, a pizza stone is recommended. The final result is far crisper and cuts baking time in half. If not using a pizza stone, line sheet pans with parchment paper and bake at 400°F / 200°C for 15 to 18 minutes, watching carefully so as not to burn the thin crust.

 

Ingredients

(Makes 16 servings)


dough:

  • 10 tablespoons warm water (~ 110°F / 43°C)

  • 1/2 teaspoon active-dry yeast

  • 1, 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1/2 teaspoon monk fruit sweetener (or granulated sugar)

  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, for greasing

toppings:

  • 1 large honey crisp apple, peeled, cored, quartered, and very thinly sliced

  • 1 large purple onion, thinly julienned

  • 2 ounces Gruyère cheese, finely grated

  • 1/2 cup crème fraiche

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • pinch coarse sea salt

  • pinch ground black pepper

 

Directions

In a medium mixing bowl add the warm water then whisk in the yeast and sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, set the bowl aside for 5 or 6 minutes to proof. When the contents of the bowl are foamy, add the flour and salt. Using a silicon spatula, stir the flour into the water mixture just until a shaggy dough forms.


Lightly flour a flat work surface and turn out the dough. Knead until the dough is only a little sticky, adding as little additional flour as possible to get to that stage (do not add more flour than is absolutely needed). Brush the bowl with the olive oil and place the dough in, turning it over once to distribute some of the oil to the surface to prevent drying. Cover the bowl with clingwrap and place it in a warm location to rise until the dough is doubled in volume (up to 90 minutes).


While the dough rises, prepare the toppings using a box grater. For the apple, add cold water to a bowl, add the apple and cover to prevent browning.


In a non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the julienned onions without oil and sauté, stirring regularly, until they begin to soften. Remove from the heat and set aside.


In a medium bowl add the crème fraiche then whisk in the egg, ground cumin, salt, and ground black pepper. Cover the bow with clingwrap and refrigerate until needed.


It is highly recommended that a pizza stone be used to cook this recipe. So, in the last half of the rising time for the dough, preheat the oven to the temperature prescri