While this quiche is great anytime, it is a really great option when hosting a brunch where you have a bit of mixed crowd in terms meat eaters and vegetarians. The texture is the same as what you’d get in an egg-based quiche, it doesn’t have the strong unique flavor that chickpea flour imparts in some vegan quiches, and has that familiar bacon flavor from adding tempeh bacon. Asparagus and leek slices make this visually appealing, and the crust is made from an easy to assemble homemade biscuit dough.
When testing this recipe, I noticed a big difference in how much cracks developed on the surface with just a 25 degree change in oven temperature. I’ve learned the hard way that one of the best and cheapest investments to make in your kitchen to get great baking results is an oven thermometer. Many ovens are liars. They may read a certain temperature on the panel, but it is often quite different from what is going on inside the oven. Mine is consistently 45 degrees off! That makes a big difference to the final product. Now I know that if I need to have my oven at 350°F, I need to set it for 385°F to get 350°F inside the oven. A second tip when making quiches and other custard-type based baked dishes, is to have a pan of water on the bottom of the oven during baking – this helps keep the humidity up so the top layer of the quiche doesn’t start to dry and then crack.
While the instructions for this quiche state that you can mix all of the vegetables in with the tofu base before placing it in the crust, it’s really worth the extra few minutes to place some asparagus tips and leek slices over the top. Doing so makes the quiche so pretty!
Asparagus, Leek and Tempeh Bacon Quiche in a tender Biscuit Crust
For the Biscuit Crust
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup cold plant-based milk
For the Quiche Filling
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large leek (white part cleaned and sliced in 1/4" slices)
- 1 1/2 lb fresh asparagus (trimmed and sliced into 1" pieces)
- 1/2 pack of tempeh bacon (abo( 78 g or 7 slices, crumbled)
- 349 g extra-firm, silken tofu (from a shelf-stable tetra pack, drained)
- 1/3 cup cashews, soaked*
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
- ground black pepper, to taste
For the biscuit crust:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9" fluted tart pan.
- In a medium-sized bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt, mixing until combined. Pour in the oil and plant-based milk, stirring until the mixture is just barely combined and the flour is just moistened - streaks of oil are fine. Over-mixing will result in a tough crust.
- On a lightly floured surface, gently roll out the dough to fit the tart pan (roll out about 2 inches bigger than the base of the pan so you have enough for the sides). Line the tart pan with the dough, ensuring the dough is pressed evenly into the flutes. Trim off the excess with a sharp knife. Gently place a piece of tin foil over the bottom and sides of crust then fill with pastry weights (I use dried kidney beans) to prevent the crust from puffing.
- Par-bake for 10-12 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Remove the tin foil and the pie weights/kidney beans so the crust doesn't get soggy.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325° F. Place a pan of hot water on the bottom of the oven - this will help prevent the quiche from developing cracks.
For the quiche filling:
- In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-low heat. Add the leek - if you want them to remain intact, let them cook on one side for about 2-3 minutes per side or until softened, then gently flip each one with a fork. Otherwise, you can just stir them occasionally until softened. Place the leeks on a plate.
- Increase the heat to medium, heat the tbsp of remaining oil and cook the tempeh bacon crumbles for about 2 minutes or until they start crisping, stirring frequently. Toss in the asparagus and cook just until bright green and still a bit crisp (about 2 minutes), stirring often. Remove from heat.
- In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine the tofu, cashews, nutritional yeast, miso, tumeric and ground pepper. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally, until the mixture is smooth. Pour into a medium-sized bowl; if you wish to decorate the top of the quiche, reserve about 12 slices of the leeks plus the asparagus tips - add the remaining leeks, asparagus and tempeh bacon to the bowl and mix gently to combine (if you don't want to decorate the top, combine everything in the bowl.)
- Pour the mixture into the biscuit crust and smooth out the top. If decorating, add the remaining leek slices and asparagus to the top, lightly pressing them into the quiche.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the center is set, turning the quiche once during baking for even cooking. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving. Enjoy warm or chilled.