Monday, May 02, 2011

April's Pizza del Mese: Alsatian Tarte Flambe

After the first two slices, this Alsatian Tarte Flambe (how much fun is that to say?) was my official taste tester's favorite pizza so far.

The bacon flavor was intense, but nicely balanced by the sweetness of the sweated onions and the creme fraiche. By the last bite of the fourth slice, it was deemed a little too rich. I mistakenly thought this was in the section on Appetizer Pizzas in Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It! by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. My official taste tester took that as a totally valid explanation for the richness. Like this would be perfect on a buffet, but you shouldn't make a meal of it . . . unless you're in the mood for bacon and richness and lingering guilt.

The Alsatian Tarte Flambe is actually in the section on International Pizzas (duh, Alsatian?). And I'm not sure how the Flambe gets in there. Doesn't that usually mean it's served flaming? I don't know. Also, the recipe called for dry white wine or dry vermouth. We're not really drinkers (Did you hear something? Yes, everyone who reads my blog who knew me prior to around 2006 just said, "WHAT?!?"), so the only wine we have in the house is leftover from dinner parties. We've had two open bottles rattling in the door of our refrigerator long enough that I thought it might be possible that they'd turned into vinegar. But no. Unfortunately none of the leftover wine was white (think about that the next time you bring a bottle of red to a dinner party . . . at least at my house). So I used a pinot noir of spurious origins that had been sitting in my refrigerator for a really, really long time. It turned out not to be vinegar. It did turn the onion mixture slightly pink, but the final product didn't look excessively pink. I think it would have been less sweet had I used the prescribed vino, but I liked how this turned out. So if your all out of dry white wine or dry vermouth, don't let that stop you from whipping up an Alsatian Tarte Flambe.

Alsatian Tarte Flambe adapted from Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It! by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough


  • Vegetable oil to apply to the cooking surface of Lodge Pro Logic Cast-Iron 14-Inch Pizza Pan
  • One recipe Classic Pizza Dough (see recipe in January's Pizza del Mese)
  • 6 oz. bacon strips
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved through the stem, then thinly sliced
  • 1/4 C dry white wine or whatever wine you have left over from your last dinner party in the fridge (I used a pinot noir of questionable origin)
  • 1 C creme fraiche
  • 1/4 t grated or ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
  • Position the rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450.
  • Apply a thin coating of vegetable oil to the surface of the cast iron pizza pan. Lay the dough at its center and dimple the dough with your fingertips. Then pull and press the dough until it forms a 14-inch circle on the pizza pan.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon strips and cook until
    somewhat browned but still limp, 3 to 4 minutes. (They will cook more on top of the pie.) Transfer to a plate.
  • Add the onions to the bacon fat in the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally,
    until wilted, soft, and quite fragrant, about 8 minutes.
  • Pour in the wine and raise the heat to medium-high. As the wine simmers,
    scrape up any browned bits on the skillet's bottom. Continue cooking at a full
    simmer until the liquid in the skillet is a thick glaze over the onions, about
    4 minutes.
  • Spread the creme fraiche over the prepared crust, keeping a 1/2-inch border at
    the edge. Chop the bacon and sprinkle it over the pie.
  • Use a rubber spatula to spoon and spread the softened onions and their glaze
    over the pizza, again keeping that border intact. Sprinkle with the nutmeg and
  • Place the pie on its pizza pan in the oven on the middle rack. Check it about every three minutes for the first nine minutes to pop any air bubbles that may blow up at its edge or across its surface. Bake until the crust's edge is golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes.
  • Transfer the pizza pan to a wire rack to cool for 3 minutes. Remove the pie from the pan, transferring it directly to the wire rack to cool completely. Transfer the pie to a cutting board to slice the pizza into wedges to serve.
Previous Pizza del Mese: January's Pizza del Mese: Pizza Margherita February's Pizza del Mese: Mushroom Pizza March's Pizza del Mese: Broccoli and Tomato Sauce Pizza

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