Flammekueche (meaning “flamed cakes”) is one of the most popular dish from Alsace, in North Eastern France. Traditionally baked in stone ovens, it features a bread dough rolled-out paper thin, covered with fromage blanc or crème fraîche, onions, lardons, and baked to golden crisp-perfection.
Some of its most common variations include the “Gratinée” (with gruyère cheese), the “Forestière” (with added mushrooms) or the “Munster” (with added Munster cheese).
My twist on this delicious flamed cake features Brussel sprouts, which works wonderfully with bacon and home-made crème fraiche.
- Making a home-made crust for the flammekueche requires some extra time, but will go a long way. You need to roll-out the crust as thin as possible (much thinner than a pizza crust).
- “Lardons” (small strips of pork fat) are very common in France and can be found in any grocery store, sold in small packages of pre-cut lardons. Here (in my small Canadian kitchen), I replaced it with bacon that I cut into small strips. Using pancetta would work well too.
- Choosing the right kind of onions will also go a long way, since they are simply cooked on top of the Flammekueche in the oven. Give preference to low-acidity onions, such as Pink Roscoff (ideally), or Spanish onions (although lacking in acidity). Vidalia onions, although on the sweeter side, will also work.
- There are two schools when making Flammekueche – one that uses crème fraiche and one that uses fromage blanc. Although richer, I prefer using crème fraiche for a smoother finish. Using fromage blanc is healthier but will have a slightly more acidic taste. If you don’t have either of crème-fraiche or fromage blanc, sour cream will work well too.
Flammekueche with Brussel SproutsPrint This
For the crust:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (or T55 flour) (250g)
- 1 tsp salt
- 8g active dry yeast
- ¾ cups (20c)l luke-warm water
- 300g bacon (or pancetta) sliced in small strips
- 1 big onion
- 5-6 Brussel sprouts, cooked.
- 2/3 cup crème fraiche or fromage blanc (or sour cream)
- Black pepper (ideally, freshly cracked)
Prepare the crust ahead of time – In a big mixing bowl, mix the flour, salt and yeast. Add the water and knead for 6-7 minutes, until you get a smooth dough. Shape into a ball, cover with a cloth and let rise for 4 hours. After 4 hours, punch down the dough, reshape into a ball, cover with a cloth and let rise again for 1 hour.
Prepare your toppings – Cut the bacon in small strips and fry in a pan for about 5 minutes (until cooked through but not crispy yet). Pre-cook the Brussel sprouts (boiled or steamed for 10 minutes, until tender) and pluck all the leaves out. Set aside.
Pre-heat your oven to 575F.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough paper-thin, and transfer onto a sheet of parchment paper, and then onto a cooking sheet. Spread a layer of crème fraiche on the dough. Spread the onions, lardons and Brussel sprout leaves all over. Season with freshly cracked black pepper.
Bake for 6 to 7 minutes, until the crust gets golden. Slice and enjoy hot and crispy.