"To make a proper tarte flambé, you need a wood-burning oven with a stone floor," explains Jean-Georges Vongerichten of the thin-crusted Alsatian pizza topped with bacon, onions and fromage blanc. Here, he folds those same basic ingredients (replacing the fromage blanc with cheddar) into a light custard and bakes it in a buttery pastry crust. "Not everyone has a pizza oven at home, so I decided to make it in the form of a quiche."
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2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and pepper. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut in the butter until it resembles small peas. Sprinkle the water on top and mix until the dough begins to come together. Turn the pastry out onto a work surface and gently knead 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together. Pat the pastry into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, 1 hour.
Step 2 Prepare the Pastry
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 12-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Ease the pastry into an 11-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim the overhang so it is flush with the rim of the tart pan. Refrigerate the tart shell for 20 minutes.
Step 3 Prepare the Pastry
Preheat the oven to 375°. Line the tart shell with aluminum foil and fill to the top with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the pastry is golden. Remove the foil and weights and bake the shell for about 25 minutes longer, until richly browned and crisp. Transfer to a rack to cool, for about 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325°.
Step 4 Meanwhile, Prepare the Filling
In a large skillet, cook the sliced bacon over moderate heat, turning, until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain, then coarsely chop. Wipe out the skillet and add the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the sliced onion and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly caramelized and very soft, about 8 minutes. Let the onion cool.
Step 5 Meanwhile, Prepare the Filling
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the milk, crème fraîche, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Spread the caramelized onion in the tart shell followed by the bacon and cheese. Pour the custard on top.
Step 6 Meanwhile, Prepare the Filling
Bake the quiche for 35 minutes, until the custard is just set. Transfer the quiche to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the dill on the top. Unmold the quiche and serve in wedges.
The unbaked pastry dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. The baked pastry shell can be cooled, wrapped in plastic and stored overnight at room temperature before proceeding.
Watercress salad dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice.
This take on a classic Alsatian dish is wonderfully rich, a perfect pairing with the sparkling wine of the Alsace region: Crémant d'Alsace.
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