|Place of origin||Rheinland-Pfalz/Baden-Württemberg/Germany|
|Main ingredients||Bread dough, fromage frais or crème fraîche, onions, lardons|
|Variations||Au Munster, gratinée, forestière, sweet|
Flammkuchen (German lit. "flame pastry"; French: tarte flambée) is a German dish, unique to the Baden-Württemberg and Rheinland-Pfalz regions of Southwest Germany, composed of bread dough rolled out very thinly in the shape of a rectangle or oval, which is covered with fromage blanc or crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions and lardons. It is one of the most famous specialties of the region.
Depending on the region, this dish can be called Flammekueche, Flàmmeküeche Flàmmaküacha or Flammekuechle in Alsatian, Flammkuche in Lorraine Franconian, Flammkuchen in German or tarte flambée in French. All these names translate as "pie baked in the flames." Contrary to what the direct translation would suggest, tarte flambée may or may not be usually flambéed, but cooked in a wood-fire oven. There are many variations of the original recipe, in terms of the garniture. The standard variations are:
- Gratinée: with added gruyère cheese;
- Forestière: with added mushrooms;
- Munster: with added munster cheese;
- Sweet: dessert version with apples and cinnamon, or blueberries, and flambéed with Calvados or another sweet liqueur.
The dish was created by German farmers from Baden and the Palatinate who used to bake bread once a week. The Flammkuchen was originally a homemade dish which did not make its urban restaurant debut until the "pizza craze" of the 1960s. A Flammkuchen would be used to test the heat of their wood-fired ovens. At the peak of its temperature, the oven would also have the ideal conditions in which to bake a Flammkuchen. The embers would be pushed aside to make room for the cake in the middle of the oven, and the intense heat would be able to bake it in 1 or 2 minutes. The crust that forms the border of the Flammkuchen would be nearly burned by the flames. The result resembles a thin pizza. After the annexion of Alsace by France the Flammkuchen made its way as tarte flambée into French cuisine.
- Villegas, Maria (2005). "Tarte flambée". The food of France: a journey for food lovers. Murdoch Books. p. 56. ISBN 978-1-74045-471-1. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
- Helga Rosemann, Flammkuchen: Ein Streifzug durch das Land der Flammkuchen mit vielen Rezepten und Anregungen [Flammkuchen: A foray into the land of the tartes flambées with many recipes and suggestions] (Offenbach: Höma-Verlag, 2009).
- Rosemann 4-5.
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