Tarte Flambée is a specialty of the Alsace/Baden-Württemberg and Rheinland-Pfalz regions on the German-French border. It’s made from bread dough rolled out very thinly, then covered with fromage blanc, crème fraîche, thin-sliced onions and bacon. In short, it’s a fancy thin-crust pizza… even though I’ll probably get crucified by some people by calling it that.
I first fell in love with Tarte Flambée in New York at this restaurant called La Tarte Flambee. I made a point to eat there every time I visited NYC until I found out that they permanently closed all their locations (it was a sad day for me). Although there’s a million different kinds of delicious food in Houston, this is one of the few things we lack.
Earlier in January, I went to a cooking class with my friends at Central Market and the theme was “French Bistro”. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw “Tarte Flambée” on the menu! I was even more excited when I found out how easy it is to make. However, I’m not sure how accurate this is to traditional Tarte Flambée. I looked up some recipes and the toppings seem accurate, but I think I’m taking a shortcut by using pre-made dough.
After that class, I’ve made it several times at home, mostly adjusting the recipe & cooking times here and there. I would say that the hardest part for me is rolling out the dough super thin, but it’s nothing to stress out about… I personally prefer thin crusted pizza any day. At the end of the day, it’s your preference on how thin you want the dough to be.
If you try this simple recipe, I hope you like it as much as I do!
- 1 bread dough, about 9 ounces (ready to bake – I get mine from Whole Foods)*
- 7-8 pieces of thick cut bacon, cut into cubes
- 1 yellow onion, julienned (thinly sliced)
- 3-4 oz fromage blanc or ricotta cheese
- 3-4 oz crème fraîche
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- Pinch of grated nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 475 F.
- Roll out the bread dough as thinly as possible. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the dough on top of it (you can also roll out the dough on top of parchment paper so you can just transfer the parchment paper easily on top of the baking sheet). Use flour if you’re having a hard time rolling out your dough.
- Prick the dough with a fork and par bake for about 10-11 minutes and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Brown the cubed bacon in a skillet (no additional oil is needed since bacon produces a lot of oil anyway). Once the bacon is browned (fat has been rendered but not crisp, transfer to a paper towel-lined dish. Don’t toss out the bacon fat!
- Still on medium/medium lowish heat, cook the onions in the bacon fat until soft and slightly browned – about 7-8 minutes. Tip: if your onions start to brown super quickly, add a splash of water to the pan!
- While bacon/onions are cooking, make the cheese topping. Combine fromage blanc/ricotta, crème fraiche, salt, black pepper, nutmeg, and oil in a bowl. Taste it to make sure you like the balance between the cheeses/salt/pepper. Spread the cheese mixture over the par baked dough evenly.
- Scatter the onions, then bacon over the cheese mixture.
- Return to the oven for about 5 minutes – you’ll see that the toppings start to all melt together and the dough turns slightly light golden brown. If you want it crispier, you can leave it on there longer!
- Let it cool for about 3 minutes before slicing and eating.
*Obviously, you can make your own dough, but the ready-to-go pizza/bread dough from Whole Foods is awesome! They usually have it on display, but if you don’t see it, you can go to the fresh pizza section and they can package it up for you. Keep it in the fridge if you’re making the same day. If not, you can stick it in the freezer and defrost when ready to make! The dough is easy to roll out, but make sure you use flour because it can get sticky.