Apple Skulls in Apple Cider
[1] A skull with your cider (photo courtesy The Pampered Chef).

Granny Smith Apples
[2] Granny Smith apples (photo courtesy Good Eggs).


Looking for Halloween fun? This cider recipe, from The Pampered Chef, will take you there.

Carved apples become shrunken skulls as they cook in the cider.

You can serve the cider straight, or augmented with spiced rum or spiced/cinnamon whiskey.

Ingredients For 14 Servings

  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 small orange
  • 7 small Granny Smith apples (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 small lemons, divided
  • Optional: whole cloves for the skulls
  • 1 gallon fresh apple cider
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • Optional: 2 cups spiced rum or 1½ cups cinnamon whiskey
    Food Trivia

    Granny Smith apples originated in New South Wales, Australia in 1868.

    There was an actual Granny Smith, Maria Ann Smith, who propagated the cultivar from a chance seedling.


    1. PREHEAT the oven to 250°F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.

    2. PLACE the cinnamon sticks in as large spice ball or cheesecloth. Peel the rind of the orange and place as much of the rind as possible into the spice ball, then close. Optionally, you can first juice the orange and add the juice to the cider before serving.

    3. PEEL the apples and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and core. Then carve the rounded side of each apple half to create faces, using the tip of the corer and a paring knife. Juice the lemons into a small bowl. Dip the apples in the juice and transfer to paper towels to drain. Reserve the remaining juice.

    4. PLACE the apples face-side up on the sheet pan. Press the cloves into the “eye sockets” or use them as noses, as desired. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the apples are dry and begin to brown around the edges. Meanwhile…

    5. PLACE the spice ball in the bottom of a large dutch oven. Add the apple cider and maple syrup. Heat the mixture, covered, on low while the apples are baking. Do not let the mixture come to a boil; turn off the heat before it reaches boil.

    6. SERVE: Remove the spice ball and stir in the reserved juice and optional rum or whiskey. Add the “skulls” to the pot of cider. Top each serving with one skull and serve with a spoon for eating the apple.


    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

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