Quiche

Posted by Brad Beattie on Sat 25 February 2017

Laura's Quiche (Tied)

I don't believe I've ever made a quiche before. It's always been one of those foods that I don't dislike, but don't think to make. I'm always happy to see it at family brunches, but to be honest, if I'm eating seconds, it's seconds of bacon. So this was an interesting challenge for me. Not only to make a passable quiche without eggs, cream or cheese, but to make a quiche I'd be excited to eat.

I started by cheating. I'm terrible at making crust, so I just bought a pre-made one. I stand by this decision. No one likes eating cardboard, which is what every crust I've made in the past tasted like.

For the eggy part of the filling, I went with this fascinating recipe from Chocolate and Zucchini, which uses chickpea flour. I made it exactly and it turned out way better than I was expecting.

I figured that the chickpea concoction wouldn't be as rich as the egg/cheese/cream combination, and in the absence of these, I decided to go with big flavours for the filing -- I settled on a variation of this recipe from Oh She Glows: A bit 90s, but also kind of awesome. I put on some Barenaked Ladies and Counting Crows and got to work.

Laura's Quiche

Crust

  • 1 pre-made pie crust

Preheat oven to 350. Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a for all over and par-bake it for ten minutes. Check once at about the half-way mark and if the crust has bubbled up, gently prick the bubbles with a fork.

Quiche Filling

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard

Make chickpea vegan quiche filling. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, salt, nutmeg, and turmeric. Add the mustard and whisk in 240 ml (1 cup) fresh water.

Pour 360 ml (1 1/2 cups) fresh water in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the chickpea mixture and bring back to a simmer.

Cook over low heat for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Veggies

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 cup baby spinach

In a large frying pan, add olive oil and saute the leek and garlic over medium heat until the leek is soft and sweet. Stir in the mushrooms, season with salt and cook until most of the water cooks off the mushrooms, about ten minutes. Stir in the herbs,

In a skillet, add oil and saute the leek (or onion) and garlic over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, season with salt, and cook on medium-high heat until most of the water cooks off the mushrooms, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in the herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach. Season to taste. Cook until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.

Check the chickpea mixture, if it has settled, or grown a film over its top, whisk it until its smooth again, and add to the frying pan. Stir to combine. The mixture will be quite thick, so this might be a bit awkward.

Transfer everything to the pie crust. Spread the mixture to the edges of the crust (I found this challenging, and was pretty sure I'd messed something up, but...apparently no?)

Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. If your oven is terrible like mine, you'll want to rotate the quiche halfway through to give it a chance to brown evenly. Brush the top of the quiche with olive oil and return it to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Brad's Quiche (Tied)

If I've ever had a quiche, I don't remember it. I figure I'm aiming for some kind of eggy fluffy spongey something with things inside. It's like an omelette pie, right? Yeah, what could go wrong.

Brad's Quiche

Crust

Pie crusts follow Bushnell's Law: easy to learn, difficult to master. I've never exactly mastered them, but I can throw together a decent crust if needs be. My go-to receipe is as follows:

  • 2 cups pastry flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine, watching out for whey)
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk soy milk (I lean towards unsweetened almond, but I'm not picky)

  • Mix the flour and salt.

  • Pulse the margarine in using a food processor
  • Pulse the milk in until a dough forms
  • Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour

Filling

  • 1 block firm tofu, drained
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 4 tbsp Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder (though I suspect tapioca powder might produce better results)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Purée the above in a food processor, set aside.

  • 1 dash olive oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cremini mushroom
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 1/2 cup spinach (frozen, thawed, and drained works just fine)

Chop and sauté the above, starting with the onion and garlic, then the mushroom, then the basil and spinach.

Gently mix with the puréed filling and set into the rolled out pie crust in tart ramekins. Bake 350°F for 30 minutes, but your oven's temperature, thickness of your crust, size of your ramekins, etc will throw off that time wildly. Keep an eye on it and take it out when it looks more or less done.

Comments from the taste testers

Unfortunately, not recorded. There was no solid consensus. Both recipes had their merits and flaws and the best vegan quiche may well be somewhere in between the two.