Although we are still enjoying some unusually hot days, autumn produce has been entering the stores, especially pumpkins and squashes. (Which we also call pumpkins in German. I neer know what’s what in English.) Every year I discover a new variety. And even though there is no need for hot soup yet, I bought a pumpkin (or squash, or whatever…). The pattypan squash is called pâtisson or bischofsmütze (bishop’s head) over here and I think I have never seen a white one before. I kind of assumed that at least it’s flesh would be orange, but it wasn’t. Kind of disappointing because I wanted the colour to match some fresh chanterelles I had bought.
I had imagined them both together on an autumnly flammkuchen or tarte flambée. (Read more on flammkuchen in the post I just linked.) The squash was easy to cut and tasted like a mix of cucumber and zucchini, which meant it tasted like nothing. But there was a solution to this problem. I recently had ordered a couple of new spices: chile powders, ras al-hanout, and Spanish Pimentón de la Vera (smoked paprika). All of those powders had bright red or dark brown colours, which I used to give the squash a makeover both in appearance and flavour.
I marinated the squash for on hour. (But you could do it over night, too.) I didn’t think of putting the chanterelles in there as well, which might have been a good idea after all. Putting those mushrooms on my flammkuchen in the first place was an idea I got from Stephanie. On Instagram I had asked for tips on how to prepare chanterelles. I have never had much luck with preparing anything but button mushrooms. Stephanie’s idea to put them on a crust together with crème fraîche and a couple of other vegetables sounded perfect. For my crème fraîche I used two cubes of preserved or fermented bean curd. It looks like this and you can buy it in Asian grocery stores. If you cannot find it though, don’t worry. The recipe will work just fine without the fermented tofu.
I like that this recipe has a couple of uncommon ingredients. I really, really needed some new inspiration. But it seems that using unusual ingredients or time-consuming preparation methods seems to go against every food-blogging trend right now. And I guess that is exactly why I am doing it. It’s not that I have a boatload of free time on my hands, but once or twice I really want to cook in an elaborate way and wander off the popular paths. (By the way, if you want to learn a bit more about me and my view on cooking, hop over to Erin’s blog Olives For Dinner. She’s one of my favourite blogger and her cooking style is so unique and inspiring that I felt super honoured when she included me in her new interview column that is called Why I Cook. And there’s a billboard-sized picture of me, too. I am amazed the internet didn’t break.)
For the dough (which is made without any kind of leavener and has to be rolled out very thinly) I used a special kind of German flour. It is called type 1050 flour and can be described as a mix of regular flour and whole wheat flour. It is a bread flour that is milled in a way that not all bran and wheat germ is removed. It also has more gluten than regular German flour. I like to use this flour for pizzas and other things that need to be rolled out thinly ans the dough is very strong and flexible. Of course you probably won’t be able to find this flour outside of Germany and I assume you can use regular bread flour as a substitute.
- To marinate the squash, cut the pâtisson in quarters and slice one quarter very thinly. (Use the remaining squash for other purposes.)
- Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and add the squash.
- Stir to combine and let rest for an hour.
- Meanwhile prepare the dough.
- Combine flour and salt.
- Add remaining ingredients and knead until the dough is firm and elastic, about 10 minutes.
- Cover and let the dough rest for 30 minutes, or refrigerate until ready to use.
- To make the crème fraîche, blend all ingredients in a blender.
- To make the flammkuchen, place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 250°C (480°F).
- Divide the dough into four equally sized pieces and place each piece on a sheet of parchment paper.
- Roll out as thin as possible. Let the dough rest and relax for a minute or two from time to time, so that rolling is easier.
- Thinly spread with crème fraîche and top with vegetables and marinated squash.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Carefully remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and slide the sheet of parchment paper with the flammkuchen on the baking sheet.
- Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the edges are crispy.
- Repeat with the other three pieces of dough and serve immediately.