This is a simplified version of the Alsatian pizza called Tarte Flambée that Chef Andre Soltner famously served at Lutece in New York City. These savory tartelettes are utterly delicious and impressive, but super-easy using frozen puff-pastry, available near the frozen pie crusts at better grocery stores. If you can’t find the Italian bacon known as pancetta, use thick smoked bacon with most of the fat removed or Canadian bacon. Pair a few of these with a salad and a glass of any bubbly from brut to Moscato and you’ve got yourself a meal.
Makes 12 tartelettes
- 2 sheets prepared puff pastry, thawed
- 1/4 cup fromage blanc (or small curd cottage cheese)
- 1/4 cup crème fraîche (or Mexican crema)
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons flour
- 1/4 pound pancetta, bacon or Canadian bacon, diced finely
- 1 small onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
- Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt, to taste
Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut 12 circles out of the thawed puff pastry. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray or cover with a baking mat and lay the 12 circles of dough on the sheet. Be sure to allow the puff pastry to sit at room temperature for at least 40 minutes before baking.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, cream together the fromage blanc, crème fraîche, cream cheese and flour until very smooth. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Add the pancetta or bacon to a cast iron skillet and cook over medium heat. When the bacon starts to heat up, add the onion and cook until the onion starts to become translucent. Turn off the flame.
Spread a generous teaspoon of the cheese mixture over each circle of dough, covering them completely. Top each with an equal amount of the bacon and onion mixture. Season the tartelettes with pepper and salt. Bake for 12 minutes, until each tartelette is golden on the edges and puffy. Serve immediately.
Variation 1: These are also quite good with the zesty bite of Gruyere cheese instead of the fresh cheese mixture. Substitute 1/2 cup of shredded Gruyere for the fromage blanc, crème fraîche, cream cheese and flour mixture. Sprinkle an equal amount of Gruyere over each tartelette, and then continue as directed.
Variation 2: If you’re pressed for time — and who isn’t these days, make this pizza style using the entire puff pastry round, as in the lead image.
By Maria C. Hunt, author of The Bubbly Bar: Champagne and Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion Published August 2009 by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House