Spargel Speck Flammkuchen
Recently, we went on a short holiday to the Alsace and Sam took some fantastic photos:
Originally the flammkuchen was used as a way to test the heat of wood-fired ovens. The embers were pushed aside and a very thinly doughed tart (almost like a pizza, but thinner), usually topped with bacon or cheese, would be set in the middle of the oven. If it could cook in as little as 1 - 2 minutes, the oven was at an ideal temperature.
Generally, the flammkuchen is spread with crème fraîche, then topped with bacon and onions (traditionelle), gruyère (gratinée), mushrooms (forestière), Munster cheese, or even apples.
Seasonally, it can also be topped with Spargel, (asparagus). This flammkuchen features Spargel and Speck (bacon), and makes a delicious crispy dinner for two, or you can cut it into smaller pieces and serve it as a appetizer.
For the dough:
200 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
100 g plain yogurt
3 tbsp olive oil
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large measuring cup, whisk together the yogurt, egg, and olive oil.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, then pour in the wet ingredients. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix until it all comes together into a ball. If it is too dry, add a little more oil, and if it is too wet, add a little flour, a tablespoon at a time.
Once it is all mixed together, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll out to the size of your pan.
For the topping:
1 bundle of asparagus
1 individual pot of plain yogurt (about 150g)
about 8 rashers of bacon
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 220 C / 450 F / gas mark 7
To prepare the asparagus:
Break off the bottoms of each stalk. You can usually just snap it off, you don't have to use a knife, it will break naturally at the best point.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop in the asparagus tips in for about 5 minutes.
Fish them out with a slotted spoon, then dunk them in a bowl of cold water.
Now, assemble the flammkuchen:
Spread the plain yogurt over the rolled out dough. Arrange the bacon on top, then the asparagus on top of that.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the crust and bacon are golden and crispy. If it is taking too long for the bacon to crisp up and the bottom of the tart is done, pop it under the broiler for a few minutes.
Salt and pepper, then enjoy.
Many different toppings suit the flammkuchen. Experiment with the ones mentioned above, or with others.
I didn't have crème fraîche, so I used plain yogurt instead. It worked wonderfully, though if you are feeling decadent, crème fraîche is the way to go.
If you don't feel like making your own dough, use store bought pizza dough and roll it out very thinly.