Today I am featuring a dessert version of the traditional Alsatian “tarte flambée","flammekueche” or "Flammkuchen". This sweet variety is a nice change to the savory version and once you have prepared the yeast dough, the tart is such a cinch to put together, allowing you to serve it “à la minute” to family and friends. And because of the cinnamon and the pure vanilla sugar that are part of the topping, this tart will smell irresistible while baking. You should enjoy this wonderful dessert tart while it is still warm. And if you feel that you should add a little bit something before you serve it, a bit of crème fraîche mixed together with some powdered sugar would be very nice but really, this tart is best eaten warm with nothing but a light dusting of powdered sugar.
At the country fair that we visited last weekend, you could enjoy fresh traditional tarte flambée as well as a sweet variety which served as the inspiration for my version of this delightful Tarte Flambée Sucrée with Apples and Cinnamon Sugar today.
Ingredients for the Dough
(the other half of the dough that you put in the fridge overnight – see yesterday´s post)
Ingredients for the Topping
- 2 medium sized Granny Smith Apples, sliced very thinly (I left the peel on)
- 200 grams (7 ounces) crème fraîche
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp pure vanilla sugar (I use homemade vanilla sugar)
- some powdered sugar for serving (optional)
Preparation of the Topping
- Take the second half of the dough out of the fridge and let come to room temperature.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (390 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Place the dough onto a floured work surface.
- Roll the dough out thinly into a round about 30 cm (12 inches) and put on a floured baking sheet or place in a baking pan (I used my vintage pie baking pan). You can also use a pizza stone if you happen to own one.
- Spread the dough with the crème fraîche (if the crème fraîche is too thick, you can add a bit of milk and stir until you have a more spreadable consistency).
- Half two Granny Smith apples, core and slice very thinly.
- Arrange the apples slices in a decorative pattern on top of the crème fraîche.
- In a small bowl, whisk the sugar with the cinnamon and then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the apple slices.
- Bake until the crust of the tart is firm and browned at the edges, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Transfer the tart to a wooden board.
- Dust with a bit of powdered sugar (optional).
- Cut into wedges and serve at once. NOTE: if you serve it very hot it is best to do so on a flat wooden board so it can easily be cut up.
This is a tarte flambée that is delicious as dessert but you could enjoy it on its own, any time of day, really. Since the Granny Smith apples that I used are not too sweet, this tart has just the right balance of sweetness from the cinnamon sugar and tartness from the apples and the crème fraîche.
If you prefer it more sweet, you could choose a different kind of apple, increase the sugar or drizzle a bit of honey over the top of the baked tart.
Thick and delicious crème fraîche is a must for baking any type of tarte flambée, be it savory or sweet. It is the French version of sour cream (saure Sahne) and it is twice as rich and twice as thick. The best crème fraîche comes from a strictly controlled area of Normandy called Isigny-sur-Mer. It is manufactured from pasteurised cows' milk to which a lactic bacteria culture has been added. This thickens the cream and gives it a distinctive sharp flavor.
If you have trouble finding that ingredient, you can make your own. To make crème fraîche, combine one cup heavy cream with 2 tablespoons buttermilk, stir, cover with plastic wrap, and leave at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, or until it has become very thick. If you refrigerate it, it will become even thicker.