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I have been trying to find an authentic Tarte D'Alsace recipe lately, but nothing I have made has come close to the ones I enjoyed as an exchange student living in Strassbough about 15 years ago. Any help on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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I have been trying to find an authentic Tarte D'Alsace recipe lately, but nothing I have made has come close to the ones I enjoyed as an exchange student living in Strassbough about 15 years ago. Any help on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Dan

Are you anywhere near a Trader Joe's? If so I'm told they do a great version.

Looking via Google confused me as there seems to be a savory version (onions & bacon) and a sweet version (plums). I'm not sure which you are referring to.

Try googling it.

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I am looking for the savory version. There are two problems with the Trader Joes version... it is premade and it has bacon. As a baker, I have a slight aversion to frozen pastries. As a Jew, I have a slight problem with bacon. ;)

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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What exactly is "tarte d'Alsace"? I never heard of it.

There are hundreds of tarte recipes, sweet and savory, in Alsatian cooking, but none of them is named "tarte d'Alsace". Could you be more specific?

If you mean flammekueche, it should have bacon, or it won't be a flammekueche.

If you mean Alsatian onion tart, it won't have bacon.

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That you not a bacon eater probably means that you are looking for an Alsace onion tart.

If the one you are thinking of uses a shortcrust pastry, try this recipe.

If not, perhaps you could specify more exactly what you are looking for.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Do you mean a quiche lorraine?

There's a recipe in Roux's "Pastry" that I tried yesterday - turned out pretty darn good (pâte brisée, bacon (I used mushrooms instead), shredded gryuére and a filling of egg yolk, cream and spices).

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The tart I remember from Strasbourg had a very thin, crispy crust with a cream and cheese sauce and onions on top. Bacon or ham was optional. It could be a tart flambee, but I will have to do some more research on it.

It was definitely not quiche lorraine or an Alsace Onion Tart as both have an eggy consistency to the filling and have a raised edge and are baked in a tart pan.

Thanks for the advice.

Dan

Edited by DanM (log)

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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That sounds very much like a flammekueche minus the bacon.

Quiche lorraine, as the name hints, is not Alsatian but Lorraine... Different region.

For a flammekueche you need 500 g bread dough (white bread, French-style); 2 large onions, finely sliced; 2 cups crème fraîche (not heavy cream); 60 g lardons (bacon cut into matchsticks — omit that); salt, pepper, grated nutmeg.

And the mandatory final touch: a dash of raw rapeseed oil.

Have a very, very hot oven. Work quickly.

Spread the bread dough as thinly as you can.

Spread the onions and cream on top. Add bacon (if). Sprinkle with plenty of salt, pepper, grated nutmeg.

Sprinkle all over with the raw rapeseed oil.

Bake in very hot oven until crust is crispy and top goldel (a few minutes). Eat very hot.

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Ok, now we're getting there.

The tart you are talking about is called "Elsässer Flammekueche."

It's actually closer to pizza than to quiche.

This recipe is translated from the German.

For 6 persons

Ingredients:

Dough

430 g flour, salt

15 g of oil or lard

1 / 4 l water

Topping:

400 grams fresh cream (use creme fraiche)

400 g sliced onions

200 g bacon cut into thin strips (obviously optional in this case)

(no cheese but you could add and reduce the cream)

Preparation:

Put flour in a mound with a well in the middle. Add the oil, salt and water, mixing with a fork until a soft dough is formed. If doing in a food processor add all ingredients except the water, start the processor and add the water until a smooth dough is formed.

Cut the dough into six equal portions and roll into thin circles. Transfer to baking sheet/pizza trays. Roll edges slightly to give a lip to the base.

Place the onion rings on the surface spread the cream(/cheese) mixture over the dough. If using bacon spread over this mixture.

Cook in a very hot oven for 5 to 10 minutes until the pastry is crispy and the topping is bubbling.

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Perfect. I will have to give this a try today or tomorrow. The difficult part will be finding the rapeseed oil.

Thanks!

Dan

Edited by DanM (log)

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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Perfect. I will have to give this a try today or tomorrow. The difficult part will be finding the rapeseed oil.

Thanks!

Dan

Rapeseed oil = canola oil!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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If you want to get real authenthic get some of the real good stuff I have heard called Speck. a cured smoked whole section of pork belly using some kind of traditional spices. Available in a very tiny charcuterie that is open about 4 hours a day in Baerenthal in Alsace. It's worth the trip.. I think.

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Perfect. I will have to give this a try today or tomorrow. The difficult part will be finding the rapeseed oil.

Thanks!

Dan

Rapeseed oil = canola oil!

Not in this case, canola is obtained from "new" rapeseed, a modified variety. The rapeseed oil I refer to is the traditional one, raw and very fragrant. In French it would be called "huile de colza crue" or "huile de navette". It still is rapeseed oil but unrefined.

Nickrey's recipe is good except that it lacks the true Alsatian touch, the final sprinkling of "huile de navette".

Edited by Ptipois (log)
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Here's a link to a description of what you ate, and links to a video of one being made in a little country inn on the outskirts of Strasbourg. It is indeed called "Tarte Flambée", which is the literal translation of the German "Elsässer Flammekueche" (well, not quite so - the first word, "Elsasser", means "Alsatian" in German, and the second word means "flame kissed", and is the translation of "flambée" in this sense, meaning that the intense flames of the oven char the outsides of the dough. As you'll see in the video, it spends less than a minute in the blistering-hot oven.

I've spent tremendous amounts of time in Alsace, and that's how we got this video of me actually participating in the making of the "Tarte Flambée".

It is not an Alsatian Onion Tarte, which is a custard based tart in a pastry shell, and certainly no a Quiche Lorraine.

I have consumed hundreds of them all over Alsace - I have never been offered one without "lardons" - small chunks of bacon. (The Trader Joe's version is inauthentic by its omission of bacon) - and for what it's worth, there's bacon in the custardy Alsatian Onion Tart as well).

Here's the post with a bit of a story, and the links to the video:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=98485&hl=

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Here's a link to a description of what you ate, and links to a video of one being made in a little country inn on the outskirts of Strasbourg.  It is indeed called "Tarte Flambée", which is the literal translation of the German "Elsässer Flammekueche" (well, not quite so - the first word, "Elsasser", means "Alsatian" in German, and the second word means "flame kissed", and is the translation of "flambée" in this sense, meaning that the intense flames of the oven char the outsides of the dough.  As you'll see in the video, it spends less than a minute in the blistering-hot oven.

I've spent tremendous amounts of time in Alsace, and that's how we got this video of me actually participating in the making of the "Tarte Flambée".

It is not an Alsatian Onion Tarte, which is a custard based tart in a pastry shell, and certainly no a Quiche Lorraine.

I have consumed hundreds of them all over Alsace - I have never been offered one without "lardons" - small chunks of bacon.  (The Trader Joe's version is inauthentic by its omission of bacon) - and for what it's worth, there's bacon in the custardy Alsatian Onion Tart as well).

Here's the post with a bit of a story, and the links to the video:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=98485&hl=

Mark. Thanks for the video. That is exactly what I remember having. I don't have a wood fired oven, but I do have my trusty old Weber grill and a baking stone. I am sure I can get that insanely hot. The key thing is finding the correct crust formula. Lots of experimentation to be done.

Dan

Edit... regarding the pork. It could be that the family I was staying with asked them to make it without the lardons. After 15 years, my memory isn't exactly perfect. I will have to try veg bacon or ham to see if they will work as a substitute.

Dan

Edited by DanM (log)

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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Here's a link to a description of what you ate, and links to a video of one being made in a little country inn on the outskirts of Strasbourg.  It is indeed called "Tarte Flambée", which is the literal translation of the German "Elsässer Flammekueche" (well, not quite so - the first word, "Elsasser", means "Alsatian" in German, and the second word means "flame kissed", and is the translation of "flambée" in this sense, meaning that the intense flames of the oven char the outsides of the dough.  As you'll see in the video, it spends less than a minute in the blistering-hot oven.

I've spent tremendous amounts of time in Alsace, and that's how we got this video of me actually participating in the making of the "Tarte Flambée".

It is not an Alsatian Onion Tarte, which is a custard based tart in a pastry shell, and certainly no a Quiche Lorraine.

I have consumed hundreds of them all over Alsace - I have never been offered one without "lardons" - small chunks of bacon.  (The Trader Joe's version is inauthentic by its omission of bacon) - and for what it's worth, there's bacon in the custardy Alsatian Onion Tart as well).

Here's the post with a bit of a story, and the links to the video:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=98485&hl=

Mark. Thanks for the video. That is exactly what I remember having. I don't have a wood fired oven, but I do have my trusty old Weber grill and a baking stone. I am sure I can get that insanely hot. The key thing is finding the correct crust formula. Lots of experimentation to be done.

Dan

Edit... regarding the pork. It could be that the family I was staying with asked them to make it without the lardons. After 15 years, my memory isn't exactly perfect. I will have to try veg bacon or ham to see if they will work as a substitute.

Dan

It's a normal bread dough ("pain ordinaire"), like baguette dough, but without the yeast; so it's flour, water, and salt. It is absolutely unleavened. The problem will be getting it thin enough. Those places actually use a machine (like a pasta rolling machine) to get the dough so thin. They put in a round piece piece of dough, and it comes out really, really thin.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Odd to rename "Tarte Flambée" as "Tarte d'Alsace". Interesting description seen on a commercial version "A French style flat bread with ham, caramelized onions and gruyere cheese". Actually I think that I shall make one tonight. My major issue with making these at home is that I can get the oven hot enough to evaporate the moisture without making the pasty soggy.

Regarding dairy. I usually use fromage blanc or half fb, half cream. Any thoughts on this?

Edited by Adam Balic (log)
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Regarding dairy. I usually use fromage blanc or half fb, half cream. Any thoughts on this?

The original uses half fromage blanc and half Crème fraîche which have been blended together. This I know for a fact.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Share on other sites

First, sorry about the quality of the images.

OK, I actually think that is is quite a difficult dish to make in a domestic setting for a number of reasons. I have trouble due to the below par oven I have at the moment. Neverthelesss there are some things that improve the end product a lot.

1. Oven needs to be very hot, even more important then for pizza. The base is very thin, and the quantity of raw onion means that it is very easy to burn the base, without cooking the onion.

2. Ingredients are very simple, so they need to be high quality, if you use cream or cheese that has been stabilised with gums et al., then the effect is a really nasty and pasty. If you can't get decent fromage blanc or crème fraîche then use good quality cream. The idea is that the fat in the dairy will help create the lovely golden surface (which I can't achieve in my oven).

3. Pastry base is very fine, not like a pizza base at all, more like a thick crepe (completely different texture though obviously).

The rolled out pastry, this is further thinned by stretching out.

gallery_1643_6192_226665.jpg

Base with topping.

gallery_1643_6192_183556.jpg

As far as I can take it in my oven. I can't brown the surface effectively without burning the base. But it gives you the general idea I guess.

gallery_1643_6192_163419.jpg

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Doesn't your oven have a grill position? You could start the flammekueche in the conventional oven for a couple of minutes and then brown it under the grill.

Most recipes I've come across called for a slightly yeasty dough. About 10-15 g fresh yeast for 300 g flour. It should be spread very very thin so it does not rise much when baked.

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In my specific case the oven is a major problem. This was cooked in an oven that was pre-heated for 1 hour, then on a pizza stone, underneath a hot grill. Maximun temperature is 180.C. There are many poor quality ovens on the market now and my landlord bought one of these.

I'm not bothered so much by the addion or not of yeast. The pastry is very thin, but the moisture content means that it will puff up a little anyway.

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