Almond & Pea Protein Pastry

We take part in ‘meat free Monday’ most weeks, but as I’m trying to focus on eating enough protein to keep me satiated (and hopefully build some muscle!) I found myself googling “protein quiche”; wondering if there was a way to beef up (pun intended) the usually starchy fatty part of this dish without resorting to a ‘crustless’ quiche (aka glorified frittata).

Looks can be deceiving - attempt number 1 was somewhat...chewy

Looks can be deceiving – attempt number 1 was somewhat…chewy

Unfortunately I have still not learnt my lesson that a ‘protein…’ version of any yummy dish is likely to be a pale and dismal imitation. “You can’t go wrong with … the protein crust that’s the star of this low-carb dish!” promised a recipe on a body building website. You can perhaps see where I went wrong – never take recipe tips from a body building website! The pastry certainly looked the part, but on tasting was somewhat reminiscent of a dry cardboard box that had previously been through a rain shower.

They’d missed the crucial part of any pastry that turns it from a piece of old leather into a decadent crumbly delight – the fat. So yes, my version of protein pastry isn’t quite so virtuous, but it is lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein than a standard shortcrust; and grain free too – if that’s your thing. As with lots of gluten free pastry I find it best to forget rolling it out, and just press it into the tin. You get a ‘rustic’ look, but it’s much easier than an argument with a rolling pin. We’ve all been there.

Photo 09-07-2015 17 21 34


Almond & Pea Protein Pastry

Makes 4 small tartlets (double for a full-sized quiche)

  • ½ cup (about 50g) pea protein powder (I used Pulsin’)
  • ½ cup (about 50g) ground almonds
  • 60g butter or dairy free alternative (I use Tomor, you could probably use chilled coconut oil if you’re that way inclined)
  • 2 tbsp egg white (about 1 medium egg white)
  • Seasoning/dried herbs to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 170°c (fan) and prepare your tin(s). I find you don’t need to grease a non-stick tin as the fat content of the pastry should stop it from sticking.
  2. Place the dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse to combine.
  3. Cut the butter/margarine into small pieces, minimising handling to keep it cold and add to the food processor.
  4. Pulse the mixture until it looks like wet sand and there are no big lumps of butter left.
  5. Add in the egg white, and mix with a fork until it starts to come together into a dough. Add a little more egg if the mixture is too dry.
  6. With cold hands (run them under a cold tap first!), take clumps of the mix and press it lightly into your tin, making sure there are no gaps. You’re aiming for the crust to be about ½cm thick.
  7. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes (or slightly more for a larger tart) until light brown, then use as you would a normal pastry.

Photo 09-07-2015 17 23 15 Photo 09-07-2015 17 23 55

Free From Farmhouse

6 responses to “Almond & Pea Protein Pastry

  1. That looks FABULOUS! I have read a lot about pea protein and its uses in gluten-free baking but have so far avoided using it since it doesn’t really fit my ethos of ‘using ingredients that are easy to source’. Well, I know it can be bought on the internet but I try not to go for ingredients that you have to buy on the net…although that is tricky when it comes to flour! A battle I am internally fighting most of the time ;).

    • I think I’m very lucky to have Ocado and a great local health food shop that sells plenty of these sorts of things, but it definitely doesn’t fit your other criteria of being easily affordable! Honestly I winced with every failed attempt because it was so expensive :)

  2. I use pea protein in my daily smoothie, but I’ve never thought to bake with it before. Thanks for a great recipe 😄

  3. I’ve never heard of pea protein powder. I love quiche though and I agree that the crustless ones aren’t the same and yes, they are just omelettes. I use gram flour in pastry, have you tried it?

  4. Pingback: What I Ate Wednesday – July | gluten free b·

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