I have been having a craving for a homemade pizza and after a party night, after which all you feel like having is food you can handle with your hands. Maybe that is continuing the feel of the party? We don’t want the party theme to end too soon..? All I know is that I don’t feel like anything fancy, especially not something I’d need to work on for hours…. I know it would be a lot faster to pop in a frozen pizza in the oven, but then my pizza would taste like everyone else’s! And I want mine personalized!
The recipe I found was in the New York Times Dining & Wine section called Onion Tart with Bacon or Olives. While making the recipe, I realized it’s something between a pizza and Flammkuchen. Flammkuchen are the Alsatian “pizzas”, made with minimum three ingredients and they’re always delicious. The standard one has crème fraîche, lardons and bacon. The reason I am calling it “Pizza meets Flammkuchen” is because this one here is made with a something closer to pizza dough than the puff pastry that the Flammkuchen usually is.
The NY Times recipe tells you how you can make this tart two ways, but I wanted to mix the two ways only cause I had too little of all the toppings. Besides, they all go together, so why not mix them together. It only had 3-4 toppings in the end, so it’s nothing too crazy full.
There have been a few slight changes here, so I don’t know whether to call it adapted from or inspired from. I only take the specific ingredients for the pastry, check what their toppings are, and take it from there. I see what can go well or not and what do I feel like adding or omitting. Feel free to add as much or as little of the toppings as you like.
Ingredients for the dough:
1 tsp active dry yeast
a pinch of salt
1 ½ tbsp olive oil (maybe a bit more)
less than ½ cup (125 ml) warm water
Preparation of the dough:
1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. (They suggest dissolving the yeast in the water, only to see whether your yeast is still active and has not gone stale. But one, my yeast is still fresh, and two, I know that I won’t need all that liquid and if I dissolve the yeast in there, then I need to use all that water because I need the yeast to make the dough rise! Therefore, don’t worry, the dough will rise and the yeast will do its magic, even if you DON’T dissolve it in water).
2. Add a little bit of the water and a little bit of the oil and blend together with your hands. Keep adding a bit of each until it starts coming together. If it feels too dry, and crumbly, add more oil.
3. If you have a difficulty doing this in the bowl, sprinkle some flour on the counter and place the dough on it and continue working it there. Don’t add too much flour, it won’t stick. You don’t have to play with the dough for a very long time.
4. When it comes together and it does not need to be perfect, put it back in the bowl, cover it with a tea towel, leave it in a warm area and let it rise for 1h.
5. Once risen and doubled in size, punch it down, take it out of the bowl on the floured counter, knead it a bit and stretch it in an oval at some 2mm thickness, using a rolling pin. Flip over the edges, so you have a bit of a border running around it.
6. Place it on a cookie sheet, that is covered with parchment paper.
Ingredients for the topping(s):
2 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 small onions, minced
salt and peper
sprinkling of sugar
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp chopped bacon/lardons
2 tbsp cubed cooked ham
2-3 tbsp black olives
100 gr goat cheese (chèvre frais)
100 ml crème fraîche (maybe less)
1 ½ tbsp white wine
Preparation for topping:
1. Turn the oven on 190C.
2. Heat up the oil and fry the bacon for 2-3 minutes. When it starts releasing some of the fat, add the ham and continue frying to the point of starting to brown. Remove to a plate covered with paper towels. If there is too much oil in the pan, remove some.
3. Add the onions to the pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar (the sugar helps with the caramelization (it won’t be sweet) and go easy on the salt, depending how salty your bacon and olives are). Cover with a lid, but do keep stirring from time to time.
4. When the onions have softened, have gotten a nice caramelization, pour the wine and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom. Let it nearly evaporate and remove the pan from the heat.
5. Mix together the goat cheese with the crème fraîche. Start easy on the crème fraîche, you don’t want it to be too liquid. (I was afraid it might leak (don’t know why, crème fraîche handles heat well, so mine was on the thicker side)) Mix in the thyme.
1. Spread the cream filling over the pastry up until the nice border you made.
2. Top with the caramelized onions and olives.
3. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the edges brown.
Have a green salad alongside this, and you got yourself a wonderfully light meal! Bon appétit!