Quiche was one of my favourite foods before I became vegan. When I was wee family daytrips were inevitably fuelled by quiche eaten straight out the box in the car. When I moved to Russia this dish was yet unheardof and so I taught myself how to make it – turns out quite easy.
You’d think that for a vegan, a dish made of butter, eggs, cream, and cheese would have to remain a thing of childhood memories.. But no! Some clever blending and flavouring and lo, your summertime quiche dreams can easily come true.
When it comes to eggs in the form of scrambles, omelettes, quiches, the magic ingredient is chickpea (gram) flour. Full of protein and with a consistency that holds together beautifully, it resembles a slightly starchier egg mixture. Combining this with silken tofu and a little cashew milk to balance it out with a more egg-white like consistency makes the perfect quiche-esque egg mix. The final secret is kala namak which has a slight sulphury aroma, recreating the taste of egginess in your vegan eggy situation. Nutritional yeast is my go-to for the cheesiness factor. I’m not a fan of commercial vegan cheeses, a bit too many weird ingredients and usually most of them are oil so not for me, thanks. I find some ‘nooch’, lemon juice, tahini and salt are usually enough to give you that cheesy fix.
so let’s get to the point – the recipe!
I have to admit I don’t usually measure quantities so feel free to adjust these amounts if required.
I made a spelt casing for this quiche, mostly because that was the flour I happened to have, but it was lovely and nutty in flavour so I’d definitely recommend. The only note is that spelt absorbs liquid more than plain flour so that’s why there’s a greater proportion of flour than usual.
1.5 cups spelt flour
0.5 cups dairy free butter (I use Flora but vitalite and pure soy or sunflower are also good)
1 tsp salt.
0.25 cup cold water
Add the butter to the flour a teaspoon at a time, straight from the fridge. Use your fingers to rub the butter and flour together, until all the butter is absorbed and the flour has the consistency of sand. Mix in the salt, and then add the cold water, pulling the dough together until it forms a ball.
For the quiche I don’t bother rolling the dough out any more – instead I just grease my tart pan well with some more flora, and then press the dough straight into the pan, making sure that the base is consistently thick (about 3/4cm) across the bottom, and goes up all the sides of the pan.
Use a fork to prick a couple of holes in the base of the casing and place it in the fridge to rest.
1 cup chickpea (gram) flour
1/2 block silken tofu
0.5 cup cashew (or almond, oat, soy) milk
1 tsp kala namak
1tsp sea salt
For the egg mixture simply place all the ingredients into a blender and whiz it up. It should be a fairly thick but runny consistency. It will firm up nicely when baked!
Once you have your egg mixture ready, you can put the pastry case into the oven at gas mark 5/190C/375F just for 10 minutes, while you make your filling.
For this quiche I used some of the glut of courgettes we are currently enjoying (hence ‘Late Summer Quiche’ ) but of course you can use any filling you like – mushrooms, potatoes, broccoli, peppers – whatever!
1 medium courgette
1 cup raw spinach
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1tsp Ras el Hanout
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped, plus a little of the sauce
I just chopped the courgette into cubes, and fried the garlic, courgettes and spinach in a little olive oil before adding the ras el hanout and chipotle for some aromatic goodness!
Once the case has been in the oven for about 10 minutes to just firm up slightly (don’t let it get brown yet!) , take it out and place the vegetable filling inside. Spread the veg across the whole base, and then just pour the eggy mixture over the top of it, making sure that it is well distributed throughout the base.
Top with another grind or two of salt and pepper, the 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, then drizzle across about two tablespoons of olive oil.
Bake at gas mark 5/190C/375F for about 30 minutes or until the top is browned and the quiche is firm. I used a pastry brush to brush the quiche with a little extra olive oil after baking, to retain extra moisture.
Serve hot or cold! Perfect for a late summer picnic if you are lucky with the weather!