Catch-all vegan quiche [GF option]

Catch-all vegan quiche from The Spoon + Shovel

“Real men can take it, and l'm a real man... 
A man with a hearty smile, a stout back, with grit in his teeth and nails in his knuckles...
A man who has never tasted quiche…”

Some of you may remember these immortal words from Ernest P. Worrell in the groundbreaking 1987 film Ernest Goes to Camp. If you don’t, drop what you’re doing and go watch it. I’ll wait.
Fantastic film, right? I KNOW. But let’s be honest here - real men don’t just taste quiche, they whip up vegan quiche because dammit, this is America. So do real ladies, for that matter, and everybody in between. Nobody doesn't like quiche. Well, maybe a few, but blog posts work best with sweeping generalizations, so let’s continue on.

Catch-all vegan quiche from The Spoon + Shovel

The quiches I grew up eating had a layer of Swiss cheese on the bottom, with veggies or meat suspended in a cream and egg mixture. The dairy-based suspension was easy enough to update, but the cheese layer was perplexing. Meghan and I figured some thick cashew cream could work, so I modified things accordingly and we were both extremely happy with the result. 
I made this particular quiche with blanched asparagus, but you can use just about any kind of vegetable for filling - spinach, broccoli, veggie bacon, mushroom, tomatoes, anything with solid flavor and texture. The flexibility of quiche should be as true for this recipe as it was for the ones I grew up with; use what you have in your fridge or garden, and the filling will do the rest of the work.

Catch-all vegan quiche from The Spoon + Shovel

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 C. flour (GF option here)
½ C. (1 stick) non-dairy butter
Ice water

Cashew cream:
⅔ C. raw cashew pieces
1 T. olive oil
¼ C. veggie stock
2 T. nutritional yeast
½ t. oregano
½ t. basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T. cider vinegar

Filling:
1 block firm tofu
1 ½ C. asparagus, chopped and blanched
2 shallots or 1 medium onion, minced
¼ C. unsweetened nut milk
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. nutritional yeast
½ t. ground nutmeg
Scant 1 t. kala namak (Indian black salt) *optional but important*
Salt and pepper to taste

Prep time: 20 min.
Cook time: 30-45 min.
Yield: one 9”pie or tart, ~8 servings

Catch-all vegan quiche from The Spoon + Shovel

Start with the crust; measure out 1 C. of flour into a large bowl, then add 1 stick (8 T.) of cold non-dairy butter. Using a pastry blender (a knife should work if you don’t have one), process the flour and butter until the dough is crumbly. Add a small amount (~1 t. at a time) of ice water to the dough and continue mixing until the dough sticks together but comes away from the sides of the bowl. A little water goes a long way - if you add too much, sprinkle a bit more flour into the dough until you achieve the desired consistency. Place the dough on a ~20” piece of wax paper, floured, and fold paper over dough. Roll out, making sure it doesn’t stick to the paper, and place in your pie plate/pan. There will likely be some dough left over, with which you can make cinnamon twist cookies!

Catch-all vegan quiche from The Spoon + Shovel

Next up is the cashew cream. Follow the steps in this post but use the ratios listed above. When your cashew cream is smooth, put it in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 3-5 min, stopping every few minutes to stir, until it has thickened. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 and chop your shallots/onion and asparagus, then start your water boil. Drop the asparagus in the boiling water for 2-3 min, just until the pieces are al dente (softened but still have a bit of crispness), strain off the hot water and place in an ice water bath. Let them cool, then strain them out and set aside. 

Whisk the nut milk and cornstarch together, then combine with the tofu, nutritional yeast, kala namak, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a large bowl using a hand mixer. Sauté the minced shallot/onion in olive oil until golden, then add to the tofu mixture along with the asparagus pieces, leaving out the asparagus heads for decoration. 

Catch-all vegan quiche from The Spoon + Shovel

Spread a thick layer of cashew cream into the bottom of the pie pan, then add the tofu mixture evenly. Top with the asparagus heads and bake for 30-45 min, until the crust and top are golden brown and shaking the quiche doesn’t yield much jiggling (seriously!).
Let cool for ~10 min before serving. 

What will you be putting in your quiches?

Catch-all vegan quiche from The Spoon + Shovel