Autumn is definitely upon us. Jumpers and coats have been taken out of storage and the leaves are changing colour. In wine-growing regions across Germany, people have already started enjoying Federweisser (young, bubbly wine) and Zwiebelkuchen (onion pie). This sweet, low-percentage wine is one of my favourite things about autumn in Germany – particularly when it’s accompanied by a slice of onion pie.
Onion pie traditionally contains non-vegan ingredients such as bacon, milk and eggs. Whilst you’ll sometimes be able to get hold of vegetarian onion cake, a vegan version is much less common – so making it yourself is your best bet! On that note, here’s my recipe for vegan onion pie/Zwiebelkuchen – you’d best get cooking whilst the season lasts! If you live somewhere that doesn’t produce Federweisser, try a glass of sweet white wine or a white wine spritzer with your onion pie, instead.
For the dough:
5g dried yeast
2 teaspoons agave syrup
200g wholemeal flour
200g white flour
2 teaspoons olive oil
75ml oat milk
For the filling:
2 tablespoons flax seeds
200g smoked tofu
2 tablespoons olive oil
450g white onions
2 tablespoons cashew butter
330ml oat milk
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons salt
Pepper to taste
Preparation time: 40-50 mins; Cooking time: 45 mins
Preheat the oven to 220°C (fan 200°C).
Add the yeast and agave syrup to 60ml warm water. Set aside until bubbly.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oil and milk with 75ml water. When it’s nice and bubbly, add the yeast mixture. Knead everything into a firm dough, cover with a damp tea towel and place somewhere warm to rise for at least 40 minutes.
Grind the flax seeds into a powder. Place them in a small bowl, pour 6 tablespoons warm water over the top and leave them to thicken. (For anyone who’s never done this before, you have just made what is known as a ‘flax egg’ – two of them, in fact!)
Press as much of the water out of the tofu as you can, then crumble it into small pieces. Fry the tofu in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat, until lightly browned. Put the tofu in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Finely chop the onions and fry them in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat, until lightly browned. Add to the tofu in the mixing bowl.
In a small bowl, thin the cashew butter by adding 8 tablespoons of warm water to it. Stir until you have a smooth, creamy-looking liquid.
To make the filling, add the flax eggs, thinned cashew butter, oat milk, caraway seeds, flour, salt and pepper to the onions and tofu in the mixing bowl. Stir until combined and set aside.
Grease a pie dish. Flour your kitchen surface and roll out the dough. You want it to be about 5mm thick and big enough to line the bottom and the sides of your pie dish. Place the dough into the dish, press it into the edges and trim it to fit. Cover it with a damp tea towel and leave to rise for 15 minutes.
Pour the filling into the pie dish. Cover it with foil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, remove the pie from the oven. Uncover and bake for a further 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, slice and serve with a cold glass of vegan Federweisser or sweet wine!