Baked, carved apples add a ghoulish touch to this classic autumn drink. Strike fear into the hearts of friends and loved ones with floating shrunken heads in their Halloween party beverage. The apples are going to be too salty to eat, but they make for a spectacularly spooky drink.
Shrunken Heads Cider Recipe
Here’s what you’ll need for the *shrunken heads*:
- 4-8 apples
- 1 cup lemon juice (or the juice of 3 lemons)
- 1-2 tbsp salt
*A melon baller may be a helpful tool for the carving step.
Here’s what you’ll need for the *cider*:
- 10 cups Just-a-Mere Organic apple cider (more, or less, based on how many thirsty folks you plan to share with)
- OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS
- cinnamon sticks
- star anise
- cardamom pods
- allspice berries
- sea salt
- TO MAKE IT *BLOODY RED*, add ONE of the following, (find these products in the Wellness department at the Co-op)
- Add 10 scoops Prairie Naturals red superfoods, OR
- Add 10 tbsp Salus beet crystals, OR
- Add 50 g (40 heaping scoops) Flora elderberry crystals
To make the *shrunken heads*:
- Preheat oven to 250°F (120°C).
- Stir lemon juice and salt together in a large bowl until salt is fully dissolved.
- Peel apples. Cut each in half through the stem (remove stem). Using a melon baller or small spoon, remove the seeds and the core.
- Using a sharp paring knife or pumpkin carver and small spoon or melon baller (maybe you have different sized melon ballers for this step!), carve your first spooky face into the rounded side of the apple. Think about eye sockets, nose, mouth and/or ears (try the link at the bottom of this page for some visual ideas)
- Turn your apple faces in the lemon/salt mixture and set it on a paper towel wad or clean cloth while you carve the next face.
- When you are happy with all your ghoulish apples, pat them dry and arrange them, carved side up, on a baking tray or roasting pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 2-3 hours to dry them out, shrink them, and brown their edges.
To make the *cider*:
- While the apples are in the oven, measure cider into a pot (combining with chosen optional ingredients) over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat, allowing to simmer very gently for 25 minutes.
- If making *bloody red cider* add chosen red ingredient. Mix well and simmer gently for another 5 minutes.
- Hold the cider over very low heat to keep warm until apples are finished. If you used any optional spices, remove or strain them now.
To make the *shrunken heads cider*:
- Carefully pour hot cider into your fanciest or scariest punch bowl.
- Float your creepy heads in the cider!
- Ladle cider into cups, including a head in each cup (and warning guests of the salty nature of the apples!)
- If you’d like an alcoholic beverage, add 1 cup spiced rum or whisky, 2 cups red wine (for mulled wine), OR 3 cups alcoholic dry cider (***not all three)
- If you’d prefer a cold drink, just float the apple heads in a punch bowl with cider and ice!
- This recipe doubles (or halves easily). Adjust amounts accordingly based on your party size!
A lot of the recipes we found online for this Halloween treat had added sugar or frozen juice concentrate, but here at the Co-op, we’ve tasted Just-a-Mere Organic cider and we think it’s plenty sweet! If you add one of the *BLOODY RED* options, you’ll get an extra juicy treat!