Flammkuchen or how memory holds on to some evenings for ever

25 Jun

As you all know, I was born in Germany, about 5 minutes away from the French border or more precisely 5 minutes away from the Lorraine…15 minutes to Luxembourg, but we talk about one of those memories later…

There are a lot of special dishes, we ate either at home, cooked by my mom or grandmothers, that were influenced by living so close to France or eaten out in one of the lovely bistros, brasseries or restaurants, that are abundant in this beautiful country.

For me, as a little kid, there was nothing more exciting than to go out for dinner.

Back then, one did not go out all the time, it was something special, reserved for a weekend or a birthday or a date…times changed,now  even back home people eat out more often…but this has nothing to do with my wonderful memory of one special evening, that included lots of Flammkuchen and lots of Vin gris de Toul.

I was about 25, just about to get married. Wow so long ago and I still remember it like yesterday.

My then boyfriend ( we never got engaged, he was engaged before, haha another funny story comes to mind here), his best friend and the American girlfriend, another young man, friends with both of the boys and myself decided that Flammkuchen is a must for the American, that is how we called her.

So we made a reservation, clambered ( I got this word from 50 Shades of Grey, where it was used on almost every page, but it really fits here) in my boyfriends 2 CV or 2 chevaux or Ente, which means duck in English. It was a ” Charleston Ente “, burgundy red with black and grey paint added and it had a roof, that you could fold back…helpful here, as it only holds 4 and we were 5, so the American was sitting on her boyfriends lap and part of her head was outside, she was a little worried about her hair do, let’s face it, we were the 80s girls with 80s hair…those were the days.

We arrived at the restaurant, famous for its Flammkuchen, we had a table outside and ordered the wine and the food. One portion is usually one or even 2 whole Flammkuchen for one person…and what a feast it was…thin, thin crust, lovely creme fraiche, crisp speck…tart, almost sour wine..haha, let’s face it, Vin gris de Toul never made it on a list of best wines, but it was delicious, because it belonged here.

We laughed, drank and even had room for dessert, for me it was a Dame Blanche..vanilla ice cream with whipped cream and hot chocolate sauce…my all time favourite…still.

After dinner we all loudly ( the wine was speaking) clambered ( here it is again) in the little car. My boyfriend did not drink as much as we did, he had 2 glasses ( he was more responsible than I was ). We played Michael Jackson’s ” Thriller” on the tape recorder and we sang, laughed and had so much fun…

One little simple food, such a wonderful memory, etched in my memory forever.

I cannot give you a restaurant in the Lorraine, a duck car, but the food, that made the evening special…easy peesy as usual…so here you go:

You need:

For the crust:

1 and a half cup flour

1 teaspoon yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

Mix the flour, yeast and salt, add the water, mix more and cover with plastic and let sit until the evening.

So make the crust in the morning and I promise, it will take 2 minutes to make.

So you come home form work and pour yourself a glass of white wine…there is no Vin gris de Toul in Canada, but any other crisp white wine will do.

vin gris de toul

 

And now, what you need for the topping:

1 cup full fat creme fraiche or sour cream

3 slices good bacon

1 small onion, finely sliced

fresh ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 500.

Take out your cookie sheet, crumple parchment paper in your hands and spread it over the cookie sheet

( it is easier to work with, once it is crumpled).

Spread some olive oil over the paper.

Now dip your hands in flour and spread the dough on the oiled paper, it is a very moist dough, so just add more flour to the top, work until it is really flat…you do not need to reach the edge of the cookie sheet, sometimes it works, sometimes it does not.

Now let it sit covered until the oven has reached 500.

Then spread the sour cream on top, sprinkle the bacon and the onions over and in the oven it goes

Flammkuchen

…max 15 minutes and voila, you have a wonderful dish from the Lorraine…my old stomping grounds.

Add some fresh ground pepper before you enjoy it.

Bon Apetit.

 

 

 

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