A bitterly cold December evening in Berne, Switzerland. We had spent the day strolling the streets of this charming, antique town, searching for examples of the namesake Bears (our family's Spirit Animal). As the sun went down, we wandered into the Chriskindlmarkt, the Christmas market typical of so many European cities. In search of warmth and food, we were directed to a shed made of unfinished wood. When we sat down at one of the dozen tables, we were given a mug of steaming Glühwein or hot cocoa (depending on age, of course) and a Flammekuchen to share. This is my best re-creation of that memory. —Windischgirl
1 1/2 pounds
Your favorite pizza dough
Tavern ham, cut into julienne strips
Bell peppers, one red and one yellow, cut into julienne strips
Vegetable oil plus a little for greasing
Freshly ground salt and pepper
Fresh basil leaves, shredded at the last minute
Heat oven to 400F. Lightly oil a half-sheet pan and pat the pizza dough into the pan to form an even layer....slightly thicker at the edges is fine. Cover with a dish towel or plastic wrap and set aside.
In a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the 2 tsp oil, then add the peppers and a pinch of salt. Sauté until they just begin to wilt but are still a bit crisp, then remove from the heat.
Spread the sour cream over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch edge, then scatter the ham and peppers on top. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and a generous grinding of pepper.
Bake the Flammekuchen for about 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese melted. Just before serving, top with the basil leaves. Cut into rectangles and serve warm. With Glühwein or an aperitif. Bears optional.