Just to be clear this is not actually a pizza ;-), but a very classic dish from Alsace, France. I have had guest very upset saying I miss lead them with the name, asking why I just don’t call it a pizza, I have also had a couple of guests shocked that it was not a dessert when delivered to their table. (there is a sweet variant with crème fraîche, sliced apples, sugar and cinnamon) Classic recipe calls for fromage blanc, lardons, thinly sliced onions and was square in shape not round. The dish was actually created to test the temperature of the wood fire ovens used for baking bread. I could eat this dish for breakfast,(Crack an egg on this dish about 3 minutes before finished cooking and you have Brunch) lunch, dinner, midnight snack.
To me this dish is a great example of how something so simple can be so amazing, I have adapted the recipe a little but staying in line with the classic flavors. I started with a simple pizza dough recipe, covered in crème fraiche, bacon, red onion and topped it all off with a cheese from Carr Valley in Wisconsin called Mellage You want to find a cheese with some sharpness, to compliment the richness of this dish, something along the lines of a gruyère would give you a great starting point when speaking with your cheesemongor.
I also decided to serve an Arugula salad, one of my favorite lettuces, and it goes extremely well with a rich dish like the Tarte flambée. When ever creating a dish always remember to think about layers of flavor and textures and this will really help in putting together a balanced dish. The salad consisted of apricots, fennel, hazelnuts and a spanish sheep’s milk cheese Cana de Oveja. To be honest if I were to serve this salad with the Tarte again I would not add cheese as it ended up being to much cheese.
Hope you enjoy.
Top pick: Champagne or sparkling wine. It is a match made in heaven for the same reason as pizza and beer. The bubbles cleanse the palate of any residual grease from the bacon and cheese.
Every day: Barth Sekt, Rheingau, Germany
Premium: Ayala, Brut Majeur, Champagne, France
Splurge: Vilmart & Cie, Grand Cellier, Premier Cru Brut, Champagne, France
Playing it safe: Alsace Riesling. Tarte flambé can be salty because of the bacon. Riesling contrasts and balances the dish with its residual sweetness. Because of its higher acidity, it pairs with (almost) everything. Many people think that all Riesling is uber sweet, but there are plenty of dry styles on the market. Alsace Rieslings tend to be dry because of the rain shadow effect. Try to look for any of the 51 Grand Cru vineyards.
Recommended producers (pricing will vary depending on the vineyard that you select): F. E. Trimbach, Hugel and Marcel Deiss
Off the beaten track: Rosé. Try a dry, crisp and aromatic style. It will complement the dish, not contrast. So this is for people who love salt and want it to be accentuated in the dish.
Every day: Korta Katarina, Plavac Mali, Zinfandel, Croatia
Premium: Château d’Esclans, Whispering Angel, Provence, France
Splurge: Chateau Vannieres, La Cadiere d’Azur, Bandol, Var, Cote d’Azur, France