Here is a Vermont version of a classic Tarte Flambée, or Flammkuche, depending on where you're from. This is a thin, crisp crust topped with creme fraiche, lardons, and onions. I have changed it up by using caramelizing the onions, using smoky, intense Vermont bacon, fresh rosemary, a bit of my own cheese and......maple syrup.
There's only one more day before maple sugaring open-house weekend in Vermont. Our first stop will be Sugarbush Farm, in Woodstock. I have to admit that the fact that they have Cheese may have influenced the decision. From there, we'll pick a direction and taste our way across the state. It's a goal.
In the meantime, I'm cooking with maple syrup.
Maple Caramelized Onion and Bacon Pie
Heat oven to 475F, with a pizza stone in the center of the oven
Prepare a large peel with a thick dusting of Semolina, and set aside.
1 1/2 cups thick, active sourdough starter
2 tsp instant yeast, dissolved in 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup flour
2 cups flour
8 strips of thick-cut Vermont bacon, or reasonable facsimile
5 TB olive oil
4 large onions, sliced 2 mm thick (thin-sliced)
1 cup creme fraiche, or sour cream
1/3 cup Hawks Mountain cheese, or Gruyere, cut in 1/3" cubes
2 TB butter
1/4 cup diced bermuda onion
1/4 cup fresh rosemary sprigs
Fresh ground sea salt, pepper
1/4 cup Grade B Vermont maple syrup
1. Prepare crust: sprinkle flour on counter, put the sourdough starter in the center of the flour.
Add the yeast mixture to the center of the starter, then using a flat spatula, fold the flour into the dough.
Incorporate enough flour to make a soft dough; it should be supple but not sticky. Roll this in flour and set aside while preparing the bacon and onions.
2. In a saute pan, cook the bacon until medium doneness. It will cook further during the bake.
Pour off the excess oil.
Note: bacon in the photo is not quite done
3. In the same saute pan, add the olive oil, butter, and onion slices. Cook, stirring once every five minutes, until caramelized (about 45 minutes). Set aside.
Roll out the dough and transfer to the prepared peel.
Decorate with clumps of caramelized onion, bacon, and creme fraiche.
Put several grinds of salt and pepper on top.
Sprinkle the bermuda onion, gruyere and rosemary over all.
Finally, drizzle the maple syrup randomly across the pie.
5. Transfer from the peel to the hot baking stone.
Bake at 475 for 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is browned.
Serve with a green salad and Otter Creek Copper Ale, or a fruity white wine.