In my first year of being vegetarian back in 2012, I was already doing whatever I could to reduce my egg consumption. Not an easy feat for anyone… as we all know, egg is in almost everything. But if there was a will, there was a way! That was when I decided to take up for the challenge of re-creating one of my most favourite egg-based dishes of all time.
I could say that me figuring out that tofu would be a worthy egg replacement in quiche was a rare stroke of genius. So was the thought of using pumpkin and moistened chickpea flour as a binding agent to keep it all together. But I also wouldn’t be surprised that these hacks were common knowledge amongst vegans already. Vegans tend to be resourceful. And very, very determined.
The pastry has been inspired by various recipes online. I have discovered that the earthiness of buckwheat flour compliments this dish particularly well, making it gluten-free! However, if it is difficult for you to find buckwheat flour in your area, you could opt for wholemeal flour. If that isn’t available to you, plain flour would also do. You are free to experiment with any kind of flour you wish, gluten-free ones included. Ground flaxseed will keep the pastry together.
If you have never made pie pastry before, it may come across as intimidating. But it’s really a lot easier than it seems. We’re not making the flaky sort of pastry. THAT, I haven’t touched yet. (Salute to all those who have mastered the art of spiral pastry curry puffs.) This quiche crust doesn’t require any sort of folding or rolling. The one step that will help you out immensely is keeping the pastry in the fridge to cool. This allows for much easier handling when you get to the step of pressing it down into the base of your baking pan. Your pie pan should be the standard 9-inch size.
I’ve used chives and English spinach, because I absolutely love both. I’ve omitted the chives before and the recipe works just as well. In fact, feel free to try out any kind of leafy greens you wish. I can imagine Sweet Potato Leaves or Amaranth (known in Malaysia as Bayam) going down just as well.
Another option you can omit are the cherry tomatoes. But if you want to make your quiche extra pretty for the ‘gram, go for it! I’d opt for using them whole to keep the juices in, and prevent the quiche filling from getting too soggy.
After all that meticulousness, it’s then time to wait as the oven casts its magic on your quiche. I put the difficulty level of this recipe as ‘Tricky’, not really because the steps are difficult, but more of because it is time-consuming. It’s best that you attempt this on a weekend or at least have set aside two hours of time.
But seriously, the best two hours you’ll ever invest on feeding yourself (or others!).
I’ve made this for one of my food booths a couple of years back and it was a solid hit. Four whole quiches sold out over 2 days! I’ve also brought it to a party and there were absolutely no leftovers. This baby is definitely a crowd puller.
And that crust… Ooh, that crumbly, buttery crust. I see a lot of people leaving aside the crust whenever they eat quiche. In my opinion, it ain’t a quiche experience without it! You can easily get by with a so-so crust. But if you get it right, it’s golden in more ways than one.
If you don’t have enough mouths around to finish it, it can keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can reheat leftovers in the oven for 10 minutes.
Operation Eggless: Successful!
Saving chickens never tasted so good.
Pumpkin Tofu Quiche
Well worth the investment of time and effort, this eggless variation of quiche uses the binding powers of tofu to create a dish made for sharing, and is nutrition-packed as much as it is unique and impressive
- 1/2 small Pumpkin
- 1.2 litres water (for boiling)
- 2 cups spinach
- 1/2 cup chives
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cups firm tofu
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup nondairy milk
- 1 tsp salt
- Cherry tomatoes to decorate (Optional)
- 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour (or any other kind of flour/s)
- 1/3 cup (75ml) cold water
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1/2 tbsp dried herbs of choice (e.g. parsley, thyme, basil, rosemary etc.)
- Step 1 Pour water into a pot and bring to a boil. As you wait for it to boil, remove seeds from pumpkin and cut flesh into pieces slightly larger than bite size.
- Step 2 Put pumpkin pieces into the boiling water and allow to cook for 25-30 minutes or until the pieces turn soft, but still hold their shape.
- Step 3 As you wait for the pumpkin to cook, mix all dough ingredients evenly in a bowl until it becomes a smooth dough.
- Step 4 Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Step 5 Mash tofu thoroughly with a fork, finely dice onion, and chop spinach and chives into 1-inch pieces.
- Step 6 Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Step 7 When the pumpkin is done cooking, remove from heat and drain water.
- Step 8 In a large mixing bowl, put in cooked pumpkin and all other filling ingredients. Stir through evenly with a spoon.
- Step 9 Remove dough from the fridge.
- Step 10 Grease up a standard 9-inch pie pan with several drops of cooking oil. Place dough in the centre and press down to stretch and entirely cover the base and sides with about 1/2 cm of dough.
- Step 11 Pour in filling. and flatten out surface with a spatula or spoon.
- Step 12 Decorate top by pressing in cherry tomatoes around the surface until only their tops show.
- Step 13 Put pan in the oven and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes.
- Step 14 Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
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