Alsatian Flammekueche (Recipe)

Get the classic recipe for the Alsatian flammekueche (German flammekuchen) that the locals like to prepare. With accompaniments, drinks, and more.
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This Recipe uses:

  • Thin crust pizza dough
  • Bacon lardons
  • White onion
  • Crème fraiche (heavy cream)
  • Flour
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • (Optional) Grated cheese like gruyère, emmental, etc.)

Flammekueche, flammkuchen, or tarte flambée, this is a dish that epitomizes Alsace’s past, present, and future. While it may be called different names, it is a dish that is much loved by the locals.

A thin pizza-like flatbread topped with onions and bacon lardons, this is one of the emblematic dishes of Alsace. The region of Alsace is located on the northeast along the border of Germany, and the multiple names for flammekueche is representative of the wars that have been fought over by France and Germany since the passing of King Charlemagne.

“Flammkuchen” is the German word, while “tarte flambée” is what it is called in French. Flammekueche is what it is called in Alsatian, and so this is what I’m calling it in this recipe.

Flammekuche in process as toppings are being added
Flammekuche in process as toppings are being added

Preparation tips

1. Add a tablespoon of flour in the sauce.

One of the main problems people run into when making a flammekueche is that the dough becomes soggy and doesn’t rise. This is especially the case if you use a lower fat cream, as there is more water in it. Mix in a spoonful of all-purpose flour into the sauce to thicken it up.

2. Consider cooking the bacon and onions beforehand.

Depending on how much sauce you add, you could end up with uncooked bacon, if you don’t heat your oven enough. The traditional French recipe calls for bacon lardons which are small bits of bacon that cook quickly.

bacon lardons on a pan
Bacon lardons in a pan

However, to take the guesswork out, you can lightly cook the bacon and onions in a pan before using it as a topping on the pizza.

3. Use shallot (white onion) power if you don’t like onions.

If you are serving flammekeuche to children who are picky eaters, they may not care for the onions. In this case, replace the onions with shallot (white onion) power mixed directly into the sauce to get some of that onion flavor.

4. Mix the salt, pepper, and garlic into the cream sauce.

It may seem quicker to skip this step and just add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder directly onto the flammekueche, but I promise you it will taste better if you blend it all in!

5. Make enough for everyone.

Flammekueche is a thin flatbread pizza, and so goes down rather easily. If you have family or friends with a big appetite, they could eat a full flammekeuche by themselves.

In France, we usually count it as 1/2 a flammekeuche per person, when served alongside a soup or salad, so that is how I’ve calculated proportions in the recipe below.

Recipe variations

While the traditional recipe from Alsace calls for bacon lardons, onions and crème fraiche, like the crêpe or the margarita pizza from Italy, there are now many variations.

Ingredients variations for a savory flammekueche:

  • Zucchini, red onion, and feta cheese
  • Potatoes and bacon lardons
  • Figs, red onion, goat cheese
  • Pear and gorgonzola
  • Tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil
  • Smoked salmon and arugula
  • Leeks and mushrooms

Ingredients variations for a sweet dessert flammekueche:

  • chocolate sauce and banana
  • apple and cinnamon with honey
  • pineapple and rhum

You can use whatever you have in the fridge, creativity is the spice of life after all!

Frequently asked questions

What to serve with it?

cutlery

Flammekueche can be served with a light salad vinaigrette or a salad niçoise if you want something a little hardier.  You can also serve it with a blended vegetable soup or a minestrone.

What drinks to serve with it?

two wine glasses

For drinks, try a Reisling or pinot blanc from Alsace to keep with the local theme. If you don’t like white wine, try a chilled rosé from Provence. You can read more about French wines here.

You can also serve it with cold beer, since, given its German heritage, Alsace is the main beer-producing region in France.

freezer

Can you freeze it?

The dough may get soggy and not taste good if it is specifically meant to be frozen, so I would avoid putting flammekueche in the freezer.

flammekuche

Alsatian Flammekueche

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

A easy recipe for a traditional flammekueche (flammkuchen) from Alsace.

Ingredients

  • 1 thin pizza crust base
  • 25cl (1 cup) of crème fraiche (heavy cream)
  • 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
  • 1 chopped or sliced white onion
  • 200g of bacon lardons
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • (Optional) 50g of grated cheese like gruyère, emmental or cheddar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 410°F (210°C).
  2. Spread the pizza crust dough in a baking pan and lightly fold the corners to avoid sauce overflow.
  3. Chop the onion into small cubes or slices.
  4. Chop the bacon into small cubes.
  5. In a mixing bowl, mix in the crème fraiche with the tablespoon of flour.
  6. Mix in the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and nutmeg and blend well.
  7. Spread the crème fraiche mixture onto the pizza base.
  8. Add the onion, bacon, and any optional toppings to the top of the pizza base.
  9. Place in the oven for at least 25 minutes until the dough rises and the bacon lardons look golden brown.
  10. Serve while warm.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1266Total Fat: 57gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 2933mgCarbohydrates: 132gFiber: 6gSugar: 5gProtein: 53g

Note: We are not certified nutritionists and these estimates are approximate. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. This website is written and produced for entertainment purposes only.

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If you enjoyed that, check out our other classic French recipes that are easy to prepare. Bon appétit and à bientôt !

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