This old school dinners cheese flan recipe is a vegan version of the much loved British school dinners cheese flan or cheese and onion flan. Vegan cheese flan is easy to prepare and is packed with savoury cheesy flavours and has a light and buttery shortcrust base.
What is a British old school cheese flan?
A flan is a pie that is open, in that it has no pastry top that covers the filling.
A cheese flan is similar or just the same as a Quiche which in essence is a mixture of eggs, cheese, milk, and sometimes cream cooked within a pastry shell.
The term British Old School Dinners refers to the school canteen food that was provided to school children during the 60s/70s/80s and sometimes the 90s.
School dinners back then tended to be more like homecooked traditional meals and were all prepared in the school kitchen by dinner ladies.
Nowadays, most of the school foods offered are more than likely to have been precooked before they arrive at the school.
Many people have fond memories of their school dinners and can usually remember at least one or two favourite meals or bakes, while others disliked school dinners or can recall one or two of the worst offerings!
Many who experience school dinner nostalgia like to recreate their favourite school meals, and as taste buds change over the years perhaps what you disliked back then may become a favourite now!
Vegan old school dinner recipes
Even if you were a meat, dairy, or egg eater back in your school days, you or a family member may now be enjoying a vegan or plant-based diet, so with vegan versions of old school dinner recipes you can recreate your favourites and perhaps discover new tasty recipes.
For more of our school dinner favourites check out our school dinners concrete cake, jam and coconut sponge, chocolate traybake, chocolate cornflake cakes, Top Hat Treats, fifteens, mince and potatoes, and cheese, potato and onion pie.
How to prepare vegan old school dinners cheese flan
For this vegan cheese flan recipe there is no need to pre-bake or blind bake the home-made pastry case. as it cooks together with the filling.
If preferred, and if you'd like to save time, shop-bought shortcrust pastry can be used instead of preparing your own.
First prepare the pastry.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt to a mixing bowl, along with the margarine broken into chunks.
Using your finger-tips rub the fat into the flour until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
Add two tablespoons of water and stir this through with a cutlery knife.
Add a little extra water and stir this through and then press the dough together into a ball.
Wrap the dough in food wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
Add the silken tofu, plant milk, nutritional yeast flakes, corn flour [corn starch], garlic powder, onion powder, salt, white pepper, and mustard powder, to a food processor or blender.
Blend until everything is smoothly combined.
Place the pastry ball onto a well floured work surface and roll out to a flat piece bigger than your flan tin.
Wrap the pastry around your rolling pin and lift it up and place into the flan tin.
Press the pastry dough into the flan tin.
Trim the ragged edges with a small knife.
Pour the flan filling into the pastry.
Optional: Sprinkle the flan with grated/shredded vegan cheese.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until the flan has risen, is firm and set, and golden brown around the edges.
Once baked leave the flan to sit for 10 minutes before removing from the flan tray.
Serve warm or chilled.
Traditional accompaniments to cheese flan are potato chips/fries and baked beans. A nice salad is also a tasty side.
Storage and reheating
Cheese flan will keep fresh for 3 days within the refrigerator. Or freeze for 3-4 months.
To reheat, switch the cooker to the cooking temperature, and warm the flan up until its piping hot. Or microwave for a few minutes. Alternatively, use an air-fryer to reheat until hot throughout the flan.
Although, this cheese flan is absolutely delicious served chilled.
Silken firm tofu is perfect for cheese flan as it blends really smoothly and bakes into a firm flan. The silken tofu used for this cheese flan recipe is Mori Nu Silken Firm Tofu [349grams]. Although any brand of silken firm tofu is perfect.
Silken firm tofu is different from ordinary fresh tofu found within the chilled section of stores, as silken tofu can not be sliced into firm pieces and cooked as it is so soft that it just breaks up.
Silken tofu is usually found within the Asian or world food sections of supermarkets and grocery stores. This kind of tofu is long-life and does not need to be kept within the refrigerator, unless it has been opened.
No, for this cheese flan recipe the pastry does not require pre-baking or 'blind' baking. The pastry will cook beautifully and will not have a soggy bottom! Instead the pastry will be deliciously light and buttery.
Of course, if you are short of time or prefer not to make your pastry by hand at home, then simply buy a store-bought already prepared shortcrust pastry.
There are even some packets of pastry that come already pre-rolled. Just make sure that the pastry is short crust and is suitable for vegans.
Many of the popular brands of pastry and supermarkets own versions, are accidently vegan even if they do not have the trademark vegan sign, so its always worth at look at the less expensive options.
Once chilled this vegan cheese flan is perfect for packed lunches for school, college, or work, picnics, parties, buffets, and everyday quick and easy vegan lunches, dinners or tasty snacks.
Got some leftover unbaked pastry that needs using up? Bake a few of these traditional British Jam Tarts. Just pop them in the oven after the flan comes out. Or stick the jam tarts into the oven to bake, during the last 10 minutes of the flan cooking.
Old School Dinners Cheese Flan [Vegan]
- 170 gram plain flour [all-purpose flour]
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- 85 gram vegan margarine [extra to grease flan dish] [such as Stork]
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 50 gram vegan cheese [shredded/grated]
Prepare the shortcrust pastry:
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt to a mixing bowl. Drop the margarine into the bowl in chunks. Use your fingertips to rub the fat into the dry ingredients until it resembles breadcrumbs.170 gram plain flour, 1½ teaspoon baking powder, 85 gram vegan margarine, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Add two tablespoons of water and stir the liquid through the mix with a cutlery knife, keep stirring for a few minutes. Add another tablespoon of water and mix it through. Press the pastry firmly against the side of the bowl and it will squash together. Use your hands to press it into a ball, and add a few drops of extra water if the pastry if a little dry.
- Wrap the pastry in food wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare the flan filling:
- Add the silken tofu, nutritional yeast flakes, plant milk, corn flour [corn starch], mustard powder, garlic and onion powders, salt and white pepper into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.5 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes, 349 gram silken firm tofu, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon mustard powder, 1 pinch white pepper, ¾ teaspoon salt, 300 mililitres soya milk, 4 tablespoon corn flour
Assemble the flan:
- Preheat the oven to 180 Fan / 200C / Fahrenheit 392 / Gas 6.
- Grease the flan tin with vegan margarine.
- Roll the pastry out on a floured work surface, into a piece large enough to fit into the flan tin.Wrap one end of the pastry over the rolling pin and lift it up and place it into the flan tin. Press the pastry into the sides and base. Use a small knife to trim the edges.
- If the filling has sat for a while give it a good stir before pouring into the flan tin.
- If using the vegan cheese, sprinkle this over the top.50 gram vegan cheese
Bake the flan:
- Place the flan onto the middle oven shelf and bake for 15 minutes before turning the oven down to 170 Fan / 190C / Fahrenheit 374 / Gas 5.
- Bake for an extra 30-35 minutes until the flan has completely risen, firm and set, and has golden parts around the edges of the flan, the pastry will also be golden.[Fan ovens tend to bake quicker so check the flan a few minutes earlier around the 45 minute mark]
- Leave the flan within the tin for 10 minutes before carefully removing.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not an exact calculation as ingredients can vary.
- Store leftover cheese flan within a covered container, in the refrigerator for 3 days.
- Or freeze for up to 3-4 months.
- Reheat within a hot oven, microwave or an air-fryer until piping hot throughout.
- Grated/shredded vegan cheese is an optional addition. The one used for this recipe was Asda garlic and chive cheese alternative.
- Stork baking spread was used for the pastry.
- Chilled cheese flan is perfect for pack lunches, picnics, buffets and quick lunches, dinners and snacks.
Baked this vegan version of an old school dinners cheese flan?
We would love to know how you got on.
Leave us a comment below and click on the star ratings.
Thanks so much, Jacq x