• Susanne Devine

It's autumn - let's bake Flammkuchen (bit like a pizza - a speciality from Alsace)

You might have figured out by now that I'm not really a cook who likes to stand in the kitchen for hours making stuff, but am very happy to prep something, make a dough, combine ingredients and then want to sit down within 20 minutes of the finishing touches having been added.


Have you heard of Flammkuchen? Also sometimes spelt 'Flammekueche' or 'Flammenkuchen' or referred to by the French words 'Tarte Flambee', all meaning a cake baked in flames.


Somehow the Americans seem to think it's the German pizza... Not sure where this comes from and definitely not sure the people of the French region would be happy to hear that. ;)





Anyhow, it's a favourite recipe of mine to make in autumn especially as you can have a savoury one or a sweet one - your choice entirely!











The original Alsatian version comes with sour cream, diced onions and lardons (see photo at the very top). Very nice, ey?


I often combine savoury and sweet as you can see from the photo below because I really like the taste of ripe pears combined with brie, walnuts and cranberry sauce.


But basically, anything you'd like to put on a pizza, you can put on a Flammkuchen. Instead of the red tomato base, use sour cream or creme fraiche.




What you need for the dough for a family of 4 (it makes 2 large bases):

  • 300g flour (I usually mix wholemeal spelt with strong white flour)

  • 150ml lukewarm water

  • pinch of salt

  • 25ml rapeseed oil









How to make the dough:

  • Mix it all together, knead well (5 minutes in a stand mixer, at least 10 minutes by hand)

  • Leave to rest at least an hour (no worries, if it's more, it'll help the dough to relax)




Once your dough has rested, divide in two and roll it out on a lightly floured surface as big as your biggest baking tray, basically. It needs to be as thin as you can get it without tearing.



Preheat the oven with the baking tray you intend to use at Gas 7/200 degrees Celsius.









Once the baking tray is hot, take it out of the oven, place the Flammkuchen base onto it and smear your white cream onto it, decorate it with whatever you fancy (any vegetables/fruits, uncooked, thinly sliced will work, cold meats also are great on it, leftover sausages/meatballs work well, cheese if you want/like it), pop it back in the oven and give it 10-15 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is, and ready is your yummy meal!




Flavour combinations I use:


Sweet:

  • Apple and cinnamon

  • Banana, rum and pecan nuts (roughly chopped)

  • ripe nectarines and chocolate (grated melts best)

Savoury:

  • classic - bacon lardons and red onion (finely diced)

  • mushrooms, spinach and mozzarella

  • peppers, chorizo/salami and cheddar

  • left over sausages (cut into rounds) with mushrooms and kale

  • Asparagus, ham and cheese

  • pure veggie - tenderstem broccoli, tomatoes and mozzarella

Combined:

  • Pears, walnuts, brie and cranberry sauce

  • Nectarines, feta, spinach and balsamic glaze

  • figs, goats cheese and salami



I often serve the savoury ones with a good salad and the sweet ones with nice ice cream.


Enjoy! Bon Appetit!




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