Salem Hero

Fantastic Feasts: Savory Salem Saberhagen quiche

Contributed by
Nov 17, 2020, 12:50 PM EST (Updated)

It's the spooky season, which means for a brief window of time, all my morbid tendencies are socially acceptable and I'm allowed to be as dark and creepy as I want. It also means it's the time of the year when all the best shows and specials are on television, including an all-new reboot of one of my favorite teenage witches.

Re-titled as The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and now being streamed on Netflix, the show is decidedly darker than the original Melissa Joan Hart version. Regardless of the differences between the two, there’s no denying that I love them both and thought the best way to celebrate that love was by immortalizing my favorite feline familiar, Salem Saberhagen, in a savory goat cheese quiche.

This quiche is as rich and smooth as Salem himself and will leave you purring with satisfaction when it’s all done. 

To make your own savory Saberhagen quiche you will need:

  • 2 premade pie crusts (one in a tin and one pre-made rolled up)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2-3 cups fresh spinach
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 3 large eggs, divided
  • 7 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups cooked and diced pumpkin or butternut squash
  • ½ cup cooked bacon, crumbled
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Vodka
  • Black food coloring
  • Green food coloring
  • Yellow food coloring
  • Silver luster dust

You will also need:

  • Baking sheet
  • Frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Large bowl
  • Hand mixer
  • Cat head silhouette
  • Sharp knife
  • Large flat spatula
  • Food-safe paint brush

Start by first preheating your oven to 400F/204C.   

Unroll your pre-made pie crust and place on your cookie sheet. Pop into the freezer while we prep the quiche itself.

Heat your olive oil in your frying pan until shimmering. Add in your diced onions and cook until translucent. 

Sprinkle your cooked onions with your sugar and continue to cook until caramelized (about two to three minutes).

Once your onions are caramelized, add in your spinach on top of your onions and continue to cook until wilted and soft (about five minutes).

In your bowl, combine two of your eggs with your goat cheese and mix until smooth. Add in your cooked pumpkin/butternut squash and blend until relatively smooth (don’t worry if you have some chunks of squash/pumpkin still in the mix, we’re just trying to break up the biggest bits).

Now we’ll switch to using the wooden spoon and mix in our bacon and our spinach and onions. Stir until well combined and then use this mixture to fill your prepared pie crust. 

When filling your crust, make sure not to overfill your quiche. We want the top of our quiche to be as flat as possible and level with the edges of our pie crust which means you may have some filling left over. 

Pop your quiche into the oven for 30 minutes.

While your quiche is baking, let’s work on our Salem decorations. I prepped for this recipe by doing some online research, looking for good cats to use for my stencil. I came across quite a few amazing ones, but when I landed on this design by the incredibly talented Kjersti Faret, I knew I’d found my inspiration!

All her artwork is amazing, but “Magickal Protection” is in my opinion, the absolutely perfect representation of all that is Salem Saberhagen. Using her design, I printed out a template for Salem’s head, reversing the colors to save on black ink. (Of course, you are free to use whatever cat head you want.)

Place your template down on your chilled pie crust on the baking sheet and cut out two heads. 

One head will be the base and the second head will be the one we cut all of our detail pieces out of.

Using the sharpest knife you can (I ended up using my food only Exacto knife) start carefully cutting out any detail bits you want to highlight in your top head piece. I cut out the eyes, the lines for the ears, the nose, the lines around his mouth, and a few wispy bits to represent fur along the sides of his cheeks.

To make the cutting easier and to help keep my design lines crisp and sharp, I found the best way was to cut for about five minutes and then return the whole thing to the freezer for five minutes to firm up again. (As the pie dough thaws, it gets soft and cutting can easily turn into accidental smooshing.)

While cutting out Salem’s head and bottom piece, I also cut out the pentacle for his forehead and five long thin strips of dough.

Once you’re happy with your design, it’s time to add a bit of color. I used Wilton gel black food coloring and my food safe paint brush to give Salem an appropriately inky hue. 

I then determined where his eyes and nose would be on the head piece going under my top piece and painted those green and pink using the same gel colors. 

Finally, using the same technique, I gave the pentacle and my five long strips of dough a wash of yellow.

Pro tip: If you find when you’re painting that the colors are too bright, a few drops of vodka thin them out beautifully. If you’re concerned about the alcohol in the final dish, don’t worry. The alcohol will evaporate quickly, and any lingering amount will disappear once we bake the cats. On top of that, using vodka to thin your paints helps to reduce the possibility that your pie crust inadvertently becomes mushy (an issue if you use water instead). 

Crack open your final egg and give it a quick whisk. Paint a thin layer of this egg wash over your bottom cat head (avoid the eyes and nose you’ve just painted) and then gently place your black cat head on top. The egg wash will serve as glue and fuse the two pieces together. Repeat this process with your pentacle.

By now your quiche should have been in the oven for about 30 minutes. 

Carefully remove it and place your five strips of yellow dough on it in the shape of a pentagram, trimming off any excess so it’s flush with the edge of your pie crust and then pop the whole thing back into the oven.

We’ll also be baking Salem’s head at the same time, but still separately. (We’ll assemble the whole thing once it’s all baked and finished.)

Carefully slide the cookie sheet with Salem’s head on it into the oven alongside your quiche and bake both for an additional and final 10-12 minutes. (Total baking time for your quiche should be 40-42 minutes and 10-12 minutes for Salem's head.) 

Once the baking time is up, pull out your quiche and Salem’s head!

To really give Salem some sparkle and that added dusting of magic, I did a final once-over on his eyes and the pentacle with a bit more food coloring and vodka, this time mixing in a bit of luster dust. Mix a few drops of vodka with your silver luster dust and a drop of yellow food coloring. Use this to paint over both pentacles (the one behind Salem’s head as well as the one on his forehead) immediately upon removing him from the oven. This will cause the vodka to flash evaporate and keep the crust from getting soggy from the additional liquid. Next, add a single drop of green to your yellow luster dust vodka mixture and use that to give his eyes a little sparkle. 

I also used the rest of the green to go over the edge of the quiche pie crust for an added touch of fun.

Now we can move onto the final assembly of our quiche! Using your egg wash, put a thin coat of egg on the top of your hot quiche and quickly place Salem’s head on top of that in the center of the pentacle. Because we’re using such a thin layer of egg and the quiche and Salem’s head are still so hot, they’ll cook the egg wash and Salem’s head will be glued in place.

Finally, allow your quiche in all its’ feline glory to sit for a final 10 minutes before slicing into it and serving it up to your favorite coven.

Bewitchingly puuuuurrrrfect…

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