Lutèce Tarte Flambée
While NYC's Lutèce restaurant has been shuttered for more than a decade, Andre Soltner's classic tart from his cookbook continues to provide some French-German culinary excitement. Relatively simple, this recipe relies on technique and really good bacon. Don't be surprised if guests are looking around for dibs on any extra pieces.
It is important to place the puff pastry on the bottom rack as close to the heating element as possible to keepthe puff pastry crisp and prevent a soggy bottom crust.
7 ounces high quality frozen puff pastry
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 cup fromage blanc, or cottage cheese
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/2 pound high quality thick bacon, cut crosswise in 1/4 inch strips
1 small onion, sliced thinly
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Remove puff pastry from freezer. Unwrap and let sit out for 20 minutes to defrost. Divide the puff pastry into 8 equal parts (or 4 if making a large plate). Roll each into a 4 inch, very thin round. Use a fork to prick the center of the pastry several times.
3. Using a small amount of oil, oil a pastry sheet. Put the pastries on the sheet and pinch up a very small edge of each pastry circle. Refrigerate.
4. Put the fromage blanc (or cottage cheese) in a food processor and process until smooth--about 30 seconds. Add the flour, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and the crème fraîche. Process again until smooth--about 30 seconds.
5. In a 10" SKILLET, sautè the bacon and onion in the remaining oil, until the onion is barely tender.
6. Take the pastries from the refrigerator, and spread the cheese mixture over them, leaving a 1/4 inch uncovered path between the mixture and the edges of the pastries. Sprinkle the bacon on top.
7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the pastry and toppings are golden brown.