Saturday, 13 October 2012

Vegan Zwiebelkuchen (German Onion Pie)

Zwiebelkuchen is not the most vegan friendly of foods! It's a single crust German pie filled with onions, cream, bacon and caraway. It's more of an egg-less quiche, I think. Despite it's very non vegan nature, I thought it looked like a dish with delicious potential, so I decided to give it a try as part of my German food month. This recipe is my own vegan version, which turned out even better than I had hoped!


The Pastry Base
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornstarch
9 tbsp vegan margarine
1 1/2 tsp canola oil
4 tbsp soy milk

The Filling
5 big onions, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup cashews, soaked on cold water for an hour or more
300g silken tofu
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp arrowroot
1 tbsp chopped oregano (or thyme)
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tbsp flour

To Make
To make the pastry: 
1. Combine the flour, salt and cornstarch in a food processor and pulse once or twice to mix. Add the margarine a couple of tablespoons at a time and process until the mixture looks like rough breadcrumbs. Then add the canola oil and soy milk (1 tbsp at a time) until the mixture clumps together as you process it (you may need to add more soy milk if this consistency isn't reached). If you don't have a food processor: combine the dry ingredients and then rub the margarine through the dry ingredients with your finger tips until it reaches a breadcrumbs consistency. Add the wet ingredients and knead with your hands until  the dough sticks together in a ball, but doesn't stick to your fingers.
2. Flatten the dough out into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
4. Roll out the pastry (it is a fairly crumbly pastry so it is a little difficult to work with, but don't worry you can patch it up very easily) about 1/2 cm thick and lay it out on a greased pie or quiche dish. Patch up any gaps or holes by pressing pieces of rolled dough into it. Don't worry, it doesn't need to look pretty!
5. Prick the base with a fork and bake for 20 minutes.

NOTE: After you remove the crust from the oven increase the temperature to 180 degrees.

To make the filling:
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the onions until lightly golden and cooked. Place in a mixing bowl.
2. Drain the cashews (which have been soaking) and place in a food processor with the lemon juice (a small one will work best - if you have a mini one like a magic bullet then use this and then transfer to a larger processor for the rest of the filling ingredients) and process until they form a smooth paste (you will likely need to scrape the sides a lot.
3. Add the tofu, garlic and arrowroot to the filling and process until all smooth.
4. Add this mixture to the bowl with the onions in it along with the oregano, caraway seeds, flour and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
5. Pour the filling into the baked pie crust and smooth the top over as much as you can.

6. Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.

Serves 6. 

This month I'm featuring lots of amazing recipes from Germany!
Check out my other German recipe posts: