Vegan Savoury Pie, or Non-Quiche

Quiche-2

Vegan quiche sounds impossible. What about the eggs, the cheese? In the words of a non-vegan critic, Where does all the flavour come from?

Well, if you can’t make something plant-based and flavourful, you just need to work a little harder. There is some vegan cheeze in here, as this is the second instalment of recipes that can be made with cheeze, but a lot of the favour also comes from the roasted peppers and seasonings, not to mention a rich pastry crust. At the request of Mme. Minty, I’m not officially calling this a quiche, as “eggs are gross,” so savoury pie it is. A perfectly indulgent dish for wintertime.

Quiche

Vegan Savoury Pie

An original recipe by Agent Minty

One note about the tart tin: I used a 9-inch quiche/tart tin than separates into two pieces. If you only have a traditional style pie plate, that will work too, as the crust recipe makes more than enough dough.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup (80g) Earth Balance or other hard maragarine
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp water

Filling:

  • One red pepper
  • 1/3 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 block (170g) traditional/medium tofu (not pressed)
  • 2 Tbsp chickpea/Besan flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/8 tsp smoked sea salt (if you have it)
  • 1/4 tsp regular salt
  • 1/2 tsp miso paste
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp almond milk
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • generous dash of black pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 cup of cubed non-dairy cheeze (soft or meltable is best), or shredded Daiya

Instructions:

Prepare the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Whisk together salt and flour in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Drop in Earth Balance by spoonfuls or as cubes.
  4. Cut flour into fat with a pastry cutter until the largest pieces are smaller than peas.
  5. Combine water and vinegar and pour over flour mixture.
  6. Mix water in by cutting-motion strokes with the edge of a spatula.
  7. Mix until the dough holds together, and turn out onto a floured countertop.
  8. Knead a few times until you have a smooth-ish ball.
  9. Roll out to about 5mm thick.
  10. Cut a circle slightly larger than the bottom of your pan and lift into the bottom of your tart pan.
  11. Cut rectangular strips about 50% wider than the walls of your pan. Use these to line the walls, pressing to join with the bottom. Using multiple overlapping strips is fine.
  12. Fold excess top edge of pastry into the pan and press to reinforce.
  13. Prick bottom of pan all over with a fork.
  14. Completely line pan with a sheet of foil (I find crinkling it first makes it easier to work with), and fill with dried beans, marbles, or other weights.
  15. Bake for 12 minutes. Set to cool on a rack for 5 minutes before attempting to lift out foil filled with hot weights!
  16. Let cool completely while preparing the filling.

Raw to cooked!

Prepare vegetables for filling:

  1. Cut pepper in half and remove seeds and stem.
  2. Place cut side down on a baking sheet or piece of foil.
  3. Switch oven heat source to broil.
  4. Cook in 450F oven until skin is blackened.
  5. Meanwhile, blanch broccoli and shock in cold water.
  6. Chop broccoli finely – After preparation, you should have about 1/3 cup.
  7. Let roasted red pepper cool or run under cold water for a few minutes to cool quickly.
  8. Peel skin off of pepper (even non-burnt regions) and chop one half of pepper finely.

Prepare filling:

  1. Turn oven temperature down to 350F.
  2. Puree tofu in a food processor until smooth, about one minute.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients except baking powder. Pulse until combined, scraping walls occasionally.
  4. Add baking powder and blend briefly.
  5. In a mixing bowl, stir together puree, broccoli, and pepper.
  6. Fold in cubed cheeze.
  7. Pour mixture into pastry shell and level out.
  8. If desired, decorate with herbs and shapes cut from remaining roasted red pepper.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes.
  10. Cool at room temperature for at least one hour, to allow filling to set.
  11. Can be re-warmed before serving.

Quiche-4

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A Winter Dish: Vegan Tourtière

This is sublime Canadian comfort food. Flaky savoury dough encasing flavourful “meat” and onions. This was a delicious meat alternative for Christmas dinner (my Brother-in-law didn’t realize that it was veg!), and the MVP on Boxing Day. Try it either accompanied with a light salad, or alongside potatoes with both smothered in gravy.

 

Tourtiere

 

Vegan Tourtière: An original recipe by Agent Minty

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 90g or 6 Tbsp refined coconut oil (if you can’t find this, use shortening)
  • 45g or 3Tbsp margarine (soft table margarine is OK here)
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 3 Tbsp malt vinegar (apple cider vinegar will also work)
  • 1/3 loaf Seitan Turkey or 3/4 of one commercial Torfurky roast, cooked and stuffing removed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 6 or so mushrooms
  • 1 rib of celery
  • 1/2 carrot
  • approximately 1/4 c dry white wine
  • 1.5 cups vegetarian bouillon
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh or 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 3 Tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp margarine
  • 1/2 tsp Psyllium husk (Often sold as Metamucil) *optional*

Instructions:

First, prepare the pastry dough:

  1. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Drop in tablespoon-sized blobs of coconut oil and margarine, shaking bowl between additions.
  3. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut fat into flour until the largest lumps are slightly less than pea-sized.
  4. make a well in the centre and add in all of the cold water.
  5. Mix in with the edge of a spatula until mostly combined.
  6. Sprinkle half of the vinegar over the mixture, mix in a few stirs, then add the rest.
  7. Stir a few times – dough should be slightly sticky, slightly crumbly. If it doesn’t hold together at all, add another Tablespoon or so of water.
  8. Turn out onto a sheet of waxed paper and knead a few times.
  9. Form into a puck about an inch and a half thick, and place in the refrigerator to cool.

Prepare the filling:

  1. Cut your loaf into 1-2 inch cubes.
  2. Use a food processor to mince the cubes of loaf until they are the size of TVP or “ground beef” crumbles.
  3. In a large-diameter pot with a lid, heat up half of the oil on Medium.
  4. Add in ground loaf, stirring, and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Chop up onions, garlic, mushrooms, carrots, and celery.
  6. Add chopped vegetables and remaining oil, and stir well to combine.
  7. Turn heat down to medium-low and cover pot with lid.
  8. Cook, stirring every 2 minutes, until onions are translucent – about 10 minutes.
    Some loaf will stick to the pan. This is normal.
  9. Deglaze the pan by adding white wine and gently scraping away stuck bits with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  10. Add broth – you want food to be about 3/4 covered, so add another 1/2 cup water if needed.
  11. Bring to a simmer and cover with lid.
  12. Stir every few minutes and simmer until only a few mm of liquid is left on the bottom of the pot.
  13. Stir in sage, thyme, and parsley
  14. Turn off heat and set pot on an unused element or trivet to cool slightly.

Assemble pie:

  1. Preheat over to 375F.
  2. Set pastry on the counter and let warm up for about 5 minutes.
  3. Using lots of flour, roll out dough to approximately 5mm thick.  Cut into a ~15-inch circle.
  4. Transfer circle of dough to a standard 9-inch pie plate and gently press to fit.
  5. Use small bits of cut-off dough to patch any holes or cracks in the bottom or sides of the crust.
  6. Pour filling into crust and level out.
  7. Take cut-off scraps and knead together a few times.
  8. Roll out with more flour to a 10-inch circle.
  9. Place on top of the pie filling.
  10. Fold bottom crust’s edges over top and crimp with a fork to seal. Slit top in several places.
  11. Microwave margarine and milk together.
  12. If you have it, stir in psyllium husk. This thickens the mix and also helps it cling to the pastry.
  13. Brush every part of the exposed crust with the milk/margarine mix and cover edges of pie with tinfoil or a ring-style shield.
  14. Bake in centre of the oven for 30 minutes.
  15. Remove crust shield and bake for another 10 minutes.

Seasonally Appropriate Pumpkin Pie

This time of year, everyone starts craving pumpkin. I’ll leave pumpkin-spiked coffee for other people to rhapsodize over; I’d rather focus on pumpkin baked goods! Since Canadian Thanksgiving is two and a half weeks away, I’m trying to post a recipe with enough time in advance so that you can actually make it (Unlike Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s Day in the past). This recipe sets like a charm – no runny filling or dry, tofu flavour. I promise that the spicy pumpkin flavour really shines in this recipe! If you plan on making this for a mixed crowd, don’t even bother telling anyone that it’s vegan, as they will never know.

Sugar-covered pumpkin pie

A few notes about substitutions:

The good news is that this can be enjoyed by people with dietary sensitivities, too – if you want it gluten-free, just use certified gluten-free cornstarch and a gluten-free or nut-based pie crust.

Over the past years, I have used almost every iteration of dairy-free milk possible, and everything works except the extremely low-fat milks. If you are using potato or rice milk, sub in a few tablespoons of coconut milk for the total “milk” volume. Or, in desperation, sub in one and a half tablespoons of neutral-flavoured oil (I have done this and it works).

Any tofu labelled “soft” will work – unsweetened, dessert tofu, or Mori-nu vacuum packed. I have not tried using traditional asian tofu or medium tofu, so I can’t vouch for the success of that substitution.

If you have a favourite combination of spices from a family recipe, go ahead and use them here instead of the ones I have recommended.

Pumkpin pie slice

Vegan Pumpkin Pie – An original recipe by Agent Minty

  • 1 prepared pie crust
  • 2 cups canned, cooked pumpkin (non seasoned), divided
  • 6.5 Tbsp (1/3 of a 300g/10oz package) of soft tofu… do not press beforehand!
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp dairy-free milk
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp arrowroot OR corn starch
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Pre-bake crust: Roll out pie crust and fit into pan. Prick all over with a fork. Cover with tin foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes until crust is barely golden. Remove tin foil and allow to cool while finishing the filling.
  3. Readjust oven temperature to 350F
  4. Combine 1/2 cup pumpkin with the tofu in a food processor. Blend for at least 5 minutes, until the mixture is a smooth, creamy orange with no flecks of tofu. You may need to scrape down the bowl halfway through.
  5. Add the remaining pumpkin and process another minute.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients and process 2-5 minutes if smooth, scraping down the bowl if necessary.
  7. Pour into the pre-baked pie crust and smooth with the back of a spatula.
  8. Cover the entire pie with a loose sheet of tinfoil. This prevents the crust from burning or the top of the filling from getting leathery.
  9. Bake at 350F for one hour.
  10. Remove the tinfoil and increase oven temperature to 385F.
  11. Optional but nice step: brush the exposed crust with dairy-free milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  12. Bake another 15-30 minutes until the cruse is lightly browned.
  13. Allow to cool for at least one hour.
  14. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream if desired, or decorate with powdered sugar.

PIE PIE PIE

Annick and I were reading a brief article on the history of pie (it was rather boring, so I won’t refer you to it), and she wanted to know whether I would make her one.

Since I don’t have the cream “cheese” or tofu required for a peanut butter pie (I’ve always wanted to make one, but still haven’t), I made a canned and frozen fruit pie. It’s winter in Alberta, so the only pie-able, semi-local fresh fruits are firm apples, and I didn’t have more than one (soft) apple in my fridge.

Instead, I used what produce I froze and canned this summer. Below, is my peach-cherry-strawberry-cranberry pie:

PIE

If I were an American, I would make up some snappy patriotic name for this pie.

Ingredients:

1 single, unbaked 9″ pie crust, plus extra rolled out for the top – my recipe will be posted soon

2 cups of canned peaches (fruit only)

1.5 cups of pitted, canned sweet cherries

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/3 cup frozen cranberries (fresh work, as well)

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Approximately 2 teaspoons margarine or butter

1 teaspoon ground almonds (optional)

Instructions:

1.Set your over to 400 F

2. Line the pie pan with the bottom crust and place it in the fridge.

3. Roll out the top crust. Leave it in its waxed paper and place in the fridge.

4. Drain the canned fruit. Reserve at least 1/4 cup. I’d recommend draining the syrup into a glass, then you can drink it later with soda!

5. Combine the fruit, spices, and flour in a bowl and stir.

6. Pour the fruit into the lines pie pan.

7. distribute small (1/4 teaspoon) blobs of “butter” all over the fruit.

8. Sprinkle the nuts on top.

9. From your top crust, cut out stars or another shape with cookie cutters, and arrange the cutouts to cover most of the fruit on top of the pie.

10. Brush the crust and cutouts with the reserved juices. using your fingers or a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of “butter” over top – this doesn’t have to be perfect!

11. Bake at 400 F for about 20 minutes, until the crust is starting to get golden. If you use a clear glass pie plate, check sooner.

12. Turn the heat down to 350 F and bake 25-40 minutes longer. The pie will be done when the juices are boiling.

13. Allow the pie to cool and solidify for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

TIP FOR SUCCESS:

– If you bake the pie in a toaster oven, use strips of tinfoil to cover any areas of crust that are browning quickly. I have found that whiel toastert ovens are great for cooking pies, and doing so qucikly, I can easily burn my crust in them.