In the olden days, we had to travel into the Alsace to get it. Nowadays, it is being served almost anywhere back around our home town, so I assume there must now be deep-frozen kits available. Not only are those kits unavailable where I am, it also spoils the fun. So, off we go to making our own!
First step is to open my trusted and much loved Larousse Gastronomique. I checked two different editions under any keyword that came to mind without success. Can you believe that? Something as typical as Tarte Flambee? If you find under which name they file it, let me know.
So, with the Larousse Gastronomique failing, I am on my own. Google also failed, by providing a list of recipes and suggestion that simply weren’t acceptable.
Let’s see. The base is a very poor bread dough from flour and water, maybe with a splash of milk. Very little yeast, if any. Pinch of salt. No fat. But, I hear you ask, how will you roll this out, 2mm thin, and handle it without tearing?
Ah, I am really glad you asked. That’s the real challenge. Bread dough is gluey, so the shortbread crust trick (roll out between sheets of cling film) won’t work. I am working on the bases that I shall not to roll it out. To do that, I make a dough as dry as possible while still being runny, then spread it on a flat baking tray rather than rolling it out.
The exact mix depends on your flour, the ambient temperature and the phase of the moon. You could start with 65ml water and 25ml milk on 100g of strong white wheat flour (bread making flour, or â€˜long flour’ as my Grandmother called it). This makes one regular sized tarte, which will feed one person. Mix water, milk and flour with a pinch of salt. Mix it well, then let sit for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to enormous heat. 270 Celsius sounds about right, preferably in top-and-bottom heat.
Prepare 100g soured cream with one egg yolk, a pinch of nutmeg and some black pepper. No salt (this will come from the bacon).
Once the dough is spread out and the oven is ready, very gently top it with the sour cream mix. Spoon it on gently, don’t pour it â€“ pouring will let the cream penetrate the soft dough, and you end with one big soggy mess. Sprinkle very thin onion rings and bacon lardons on top, and into the oven with it!
Bake until the edges of the dough turn very dark, then continue baking until the edges actually turn black, then continue baking for as long as you dare. The problem is that you still have to get a lot of moisture out of the base, which is now covered with a layer of sour cream.
Once you can’t stand it any longer, get it out, transfer it onto a board, cut into six or eight large pieces, and enjoy immediately.