Eating The Tour De France Stage 13: Vittel – Colmar. Flammekueche
Hugging Frances’ border with Germany, Stage 13 will see the riders leave the department of Lorraine and enter Alsace. The mountains here are nothing compared to the high Alps, but what they lack in climbs they more than make up for in scenery and of course wine.
The crisp, clean qualities of Alsatian wine make it, in my opinion, some of the best in France, although vintages from this part of the world are often frowned upon in the UK. However, if you find yourself cycling in this region, the famous Alsatian wine route, makes for a superb introduction to the wine making in the area, and Colmar where Stage 13 winds up is at the very heart of the Alsatian wine world.
Alas as the teams race through the Alsatian country side, I fear they wont have time to taste any wine or any of the regions delicious food that combines the best of Germany’s hearty fare with the elegance of French cuisine. Flammekueche or Tarte flambée is a well-known Alsacian speciality. Not dissimilar to a pizza, it is nothing more than a crust of dough is baked in a very hot oven, topped with crème fraîche, onions, and bacon. A superb recipe for a summer picnic, or served as a simple starter, a warm slice of Flammekueche is the perfect post cycling snack and here is a simple recipe so you can make it at home.
For the dough
- 180g of flour
- 1/2 tbs of salt
- 2 tbs of olive oil
- 1/4 cup of lukewarm water
1. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour into it the salt and oil. Mix with your with your hands and knead into a dough for a few minutes.
2. Slowly add the lukewarm water while kneading the dough. Knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Form into a ball and add more flour or water it the dough is either too sticky or too dry.
For the topping
- 1 large white onion
- 4 tbs of crème fraîche or sour cream.
- 1/2 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
- 120g smoked lardons or chopped smoked bacon
- 1 tbs of olive oil
- salt and black pepper
1. Peel your onion and thinly cut it into slices.
2 . In a bowl combine the crème, nutmeg, salt and freshly grounded pepper.
3. Now roll your dough on a floured work surface, making a long thin rectangle as big as your baking tray.
4. Brush your baking tray with some oil, and carefully lay the dough inside. Press the dough all around to form and edge and prick the dough with a fork.
5. With a spoon spread the cream mixture over the dough. Decorate with the onions and lardons and drizzle with oil.
6. Cook in a preheated oven at 480F for 15 min.
7. Serve warm with a cold glass of Alsatian wine