This bacon onion and spinach tart recipe is for the classic Alsatian speciality known as a flammkuchen, or more popularly, a tarte flame. The regional tarte is more pizza-like than what is usually understood to be a tart as it is made with a super thin crust which is then covered with bacon and spinach and baked in the oven. However, unlike a pizza, this is not a yeast dough.
Rolling the dough cracker-crisp thin and baking it in a super hot oven is the key to attaining the crunchy texture and caramelized onion topping that makes this tart famous.
Enjoy it alone or with soup and a crisp green salad for a complete meal. You can even eat the tarte flame instead of a pizza, sometimes good to have a change.
There are many variations but this recipe is a classic of the Alsace region.
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup creme fraiche
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup rinsed baby spinach leaves (optional)
- 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Gather the ingredients.
- Using a food processor, pulse the flour, butter, and salt until it has a coarse, sandy texture with a few pea-size bits of butter remaining. Stir the cold water into the flour mixture just until the dough pulls together into a rough-looking ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 2 hours, or until it is completely cold.
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Carefully roll the dough into an 8-inch by 12-inch rectangle, the dough will become very fragile, so you will need to be careful not to tear it. Lay the rolled dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Stir the ricotta cheese, creme fraiche, flour, and salt together until it is smooth cream. Then, in a separate bowl, toss the sliced onions in the oil and sugar.
- Spread the cheese mixture over the surface of the dough, drain the onions and then arrange them, the spinach if using, and bacon over the cheese.
- Bake the bacon spinach tart for 15 to 20 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and the onions caramelized. Be careful not to cook this too quickly, or the onions will burn rather than softly caramelize.