Tarte Flambée (French Bacon And Onion Tart) Recipe

Just the name — tarte flambée — sounds fancy, doesn't it? Like a dish that would be incredibly difficult to perfect. Fortunately, while tarte flambée is certainly delicious, it's not nearly as "fancy" as it sounds. "Tarte flambée (or flammekueche) is a traditional recipe that calls for a wood-fired (or high heat) oven to quickly cook a thinly rolled pizza-type crust in minutes," explains recipe developer Katie Rosenhouse. "If you're a fan of thin-crust pizza, this might be a new favorite in your rotation."

But it's not just the thin crust that makes this pizza alternative so good — it's the toppings, too. "When I first tried tarte flambée, I was immediately in love with the combination of the tangy crème fraîche with the sweet onions, and salty bacon. Topping with chives after baking takes this recipe over the top," Rosenhouse says. And what's great about the mix of flavors is that the tart ends up being a perfect choice for every conceivable meal. "It makes for a great breakfast served alongside a plate of eggs, a light lunch, or a delicious dinner with a side salad. It also makes a great appetizer when cut into thin rectangles," Rosendale explains. So don't hold off on making this bacon and onion tart — the dough takes a little while to mix and rise, but if you make it ahead (and even freeze it), the actual tart takes only about 30 minutes to make.

Gather the ingredients for this tarte flambée

There's nothing too unusual on the list of ingredients for this recipe, and you may have most of them in your kitchen already. You'll need warm water, granulated sugar, active dry yeast, bread flour, kosher salt, olive oil, thick-cut bacon, a medium onion, unsalted butter, crème fraîche, nutmeg, black pepper, and chives. 

Activate the yeast and make the dough

First up, you'll be making your tart dough. This is very similar to making pizza crust dough. Start by activating the yeast by placing it, the water, and the sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Cover the bowl and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it gets foamy. 

When it's ready to go, add the flour, salt, and olive oil to the bowl with the yeast. Stir it all together until it forms a shaggy dough. While technically, Rosenhouse says that all-purpose flour can be subbed in place of bread flour for this recipe, there is a reason she calls for bread flour. "Bread flour has a higher protein content, meaning the dough will develop more gluten during the kneading process, and make for a heartier result," she says. 

Let the dough rise

Use the remaining olive oil to grease the inside of another medium-sized bowl. Roll the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl, turning it until it's fully coated in the oil. 

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside for the dough to rise until it's doubled in volume — about 60-90 minutes. If you're making the dough in advance, you can refrigerate the dough (the colder temperature will slow down the fermentation process), and allow it to sit overnight. "A slow fermentation may mean your dough more than doubles in size by the time you're ready to use it. This isn't a cause for concern. Longer fermentation means more flavor and a better texture for your crust. Just punch down and roll as you normally would," instructs Rosenhouse. 

Pan fry the bacon

When the dough is prepped (or it's nearing the end of its rising period), grab a sauté pan and place it over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon (remember, it should be sliced into thin pieces), stirring and flipping occasionally, until browned. This will take about 5-6 minutes. When it's cooked, use a slotted spoon (this allows the grease to drip off) and transfer the bacon to a plate. 

Retain about a tablespoon of the bacon fat in the pan, discarding the rest. 

Cook the onions

Add the onions and the butter to the pan (with the retained bacon fat). Cook the onions over medium-high until they're softened, being sure to stir along the way. You may think that using bacon fat and butter to cook the onions is overkill, but Rosenhouse swears by the flavor. "If anything could be better than bacon fat, it's butter. While bacon fat lends delicious, salty, savory flavor to the onions, I love adding butter for a bit of creamy richness as well," she says. 

Mix the crème fraîche and preheat the oven

Where most pizzas use a tomato sauce or even an alfredo-style white sauce as the base, this French version uses a common French ingredient — crème fraîche. This cultured dairy product is high in fat and has a tangy, nutty flavor, which ends up giving this tart a delicious, tangy taste. To make the crème fraîche sauce, simply combine the crème fraîche with the remaining salt, nutmeg, and black pepper. Stir well. 

Before moving on to the next step, preheat the oven to 500 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper to make sure you're prepped for the bake.

Line your baking sheet with dough

Lightly flour your counter or work surface and place the dough in the center. Roll it out to about ⅛-inch thickness and a size that's about the same as the parchment-lined baking sheet. Transfer the dough to the prepped pan and continue stretching the dough to cover the entire space. 

Build the tarte flambée

It's time to build your tarte flambée. If you've ever made homemade pizza, this is basically the same thing. Simply spread the crème fraîche sauce over the stretched dough (like a tomato sauce on a pizza), leaving a border around the edges. Spread the cooked onions and bacon evenly across the top. 

Bake and serve the tarte flambée

When the oven reaches 500 F, pop the pan inside and bake the tart for 10-12 minutes, until the edges have turned a deep golden brown. 

Remove the pan and sprinkle the top with chives for the finishing touch before serving. 

If you're enjoying the tart as an appetizer or as part of your dinner, don't enjoy the tart without a nice glass of wine. "At our house, a glass of white wine is the perfect pairing," assures Rosenhouse. Ideally, she says the tart should be eaten right away when it's pulled straight from the oven, but if you don't finish it all in one sitting, you can keep the leftovers. "Wrap leftovers and refrigerate or freeze," Rosenhouse says. "Reheat in a 425 F oven until crisp." 

Tarte Flambée (French Bacon And Onion Tart) Recipe
4.9 from 36 ratings
This tarte flambée features tangy crème fraîche with sweet onions and salty bacon for a dish that ends up being a perfect choice for every conceivable meal.
Prep Time
Cook Time
french bacon and onion tart
Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ cups bread flour (or all-purpose), plus additional for rolling
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ pound thick cut bacon, cut into ¼" strips
  • ½ medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • Chives, chopped, for garnish
  1. Stir to combine water, sugar, and yeast in a medium bowl. Cover and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes until foamy.
  2. Add flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir to combine to a shaggy dough.
  3. Transfer dough to a clean surface and knead for 6-8 minutes until combined and smooth. Form into a ball.
  4. Grease a medium bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place dough into bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover and set aside to rise for 1-1 ½ hours until doubled in volume, or refrigerate overnight if making ahead.
  5. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes.
  6. Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a plate; set aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat in pan.
  7. Add onions and butter to bacon fat in pan. Cook over medium-high heat until softened, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
  8. Stir to combine crème fraîche, 1 teaspoon salt, nutmeg and black pepper.
  9. Preheat oven to 500 F.
  10. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  11. Lightly flour a clean surface and roll dough to ⅛-inch thickness about the size of the baking sheet (13x18-inch).
  12. Transfer dough to the baking sheet and stretch lightly to fill the size of the pan if needed.
  13. Gently spread crème fraîche mixture over dough, leaving ½-inch border around edges. Top evenly with onions and bacon.
  14. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are a deep golden brown.
  15. Top with chives before serving.
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