I’ve already shown you how to bake the traditional Alsatian Flammkuchen with onions and bacon. But Flammkuchen is not only a savory dish. The name just describes that it is a thin flatbread. The most popular type of sweet Flammkuchen in Germany is Apple Flammkuchen.
The dough is the same as for the savory variety. It’s an unleavened bread dough that is enriched with oil to improve its stretchiness. It’s quite similar to a traditional strudel dough. Because it is unleavened, it needs to be rolled out very thin. If it’s too thick the Flammkuchen won’t get crispy.
The sauce for Apple Flammkuchen is lightly sweetened schmand or crème fraîche with honey. If you can’t source these products, you can simply use American-style sour cream. That will do the job just fine. If you want to learn more about German sour cream, you can check out my blog post about schmand.
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How to assemble and bake your Apple Flammkuchen
You need to slice the apples very thinly and place them in one even layer on your Flammkuchen. The walnuts should not be baked on top of the Flammkuchen as they would burn in the hot oven. I caramelize them before I bake the Flammkuchen and sprinkle them on top just before serving.
Make sure your oven is preheated before you bake the Flammkuchen. You need to bake it as hot as possible to get a nice crust. I don’t preheat my baking tray or use a pizza stone as Flammkuchen are very thin. But you could do so if you want an even darker crust and shorten the baking time a little.
These Apple Flammkuchen make a nice snack in between or can be eaten as a dessert. The serving size is quite small so you need to prepare a double batch if you want to eat them as the main course.
4.2 ounces (120 g) white soft wheat flour or all-purpose flour (German Type 550 or 405)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2.1 ounces (60 g) water
For the candied walnuts:
1.8 ounces (50 g) peeled walnuts, about 1/2 cup
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon water
For the topping:
7 ounces (200 g) schmand, crème fraîche, or sour cream
1 teaspoon honey
salt, to taste
2 tart apples, deseeded and cut into paper-thin slices
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Prepare the dough:
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and olive oil. Stir in the water bit by bit. Once all the water is incorporated, knead the dough using the palm of your hands for about 5 minutes until smooth. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
Prepare the candied walnuts:
Combine the walnuts, sugar, and water in a small nonstick pan and heat it over medium heat. Wait for the water to evaporate and the sugar to caramelize stirring occasionally. The candied walnuts are done once they’re golden brown on the outside. Take them immediately out of the pan and let them cool down on a plate lined with parchment paper. Spread them out so they don’t touch each other as you don’t want them to stick together.
Preheat your oven to 480 °F (250 °C).
Prepare the toppings:
Put the schmand, crème fraîche, or sour cream in a small mixing bowl and add the honey. Season to taste with salt and mix everything well. Marinate your apple slices with the cinnamon and lemon juice.
Roll out the dough:
Divide the dough into two pieces for 2 small Flammkuchen or leave it as is for 1 large Flammkuchen. It’s best to roll out the dough on a baking tray lined with parchment paper so that you can easily transfer the assembled Flammkuchen into the oven. Roll the dough out as thinly as possible. It should literally be just a little thicker than paper. The traditional shape would be a rectangle with curved edges but you can roll it out into any shape of your preference.
Assemble and bake the Flammkuchen:
Spread the schmand, crème fraîche, or sour cream very generously all over your Flammkuchen. Then top with the apple slices. Bake the Flammkuchen in the middle tray of your oven for 10-12 minutes until the crust is super crispy and the top lightly charred. Sprinkle with the candied walnuts and serve immediately or at room temperature.