What traditions do you have in your family for Halloween? My brother and I had this brilliant cookbook called Have Fun Cooking as kids, I got my Dad to dig it out now that my two are cooking more independently. It has our witty annotations on it which is fun to see. I loved to bake, whereas my brother was more obsessed with mocktails. I always remember Mulled Blackcurrant, or Mulled Bat’s Blood being our favourite drink to have during Autumn events like Halloween and Bonfire Night. It was always served in the gorgeous pottery goblets my Dad’s brother made for us and felt like a special ritual.
Pink Lady® apples asked me to pass on one of my favourite Halloween traditions, so I’ve prepared Mulled Bat’s Juice once again, but with a next generation twist. It’s exciting to come up with new elements to favourite traditions don’t you think? I’ve added shrunken apple heads, which are really fun to make and actually surprised me by being delicious – even after all that drying out in the oven – it brings out the sweet apple flavour beautifully. I’ve used PinKids®, smaller Pink Lady® apples which are perfectly sized for kids and have the perfect texture for baking.
I’ve made some suggestions below for making a grown up version of this punch.
Make the apples first as they take a while to dry off in the oven, the mulled juice is a 15 minute job.
Shrunken Apple Heads
The lovely thing about this is older kids can get clever with a sharp knife, while younger kids can use a melon baller. Apples are also so much easier to carve than pumpkins. I found PinKids® apples apples held together really well and they are the kids’ favourite taste wise too. They really work baked like this, not all apples do.
6 PinKids® apples.
1 bowl filled with water and the juice of 1 lemon, enough to cover the apples.
- Peel, core and half your apples, and use a melon baller and a sharp knife to create faces.
- Bake in the oven at 120C/Gas Mark 1/2 for 1hr 30 mins, or until they are beginning to dry around the edges.
You can make them as scary, ghoulish, silly, friendly or emoji-like, as you like. They don’t have to be really scary, but we kind of liked them creepy.
I’ve gone with apple and blackcurrant juice to complement the flavour of the apples, while keeping the appearance of bat’s blood, although for me and my brother it was always ‘Beena’ or Ribena. You could also do mulled apple juice, or cider for the grown ups. Mulled cider would look good served in glasses with a cinnamon stick and a star anise left in to garnish, simply replace the water and juice below with cider, then add a couple of tablespoons of caster sugar and the juice of a couple of clementines to sweeten it.
Serves 12 (children)
1200ml of water
220ml of neat apple and blackcurrant juice
half a teaspoon of allspice
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 small orange sliced
2 slices of lemon
- Measure the water and juice into the saucepan.
- Add the allspice, cinnamon, cloves, orange and lemon slices.
- Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove the cloves and cinnamon with a slotted spoon.
- Serve in a bowl with the shrunken punch heads.
Allow to cool to a safe temperature to drink. Have a ladel and some mugs, glasses or goblets handy to serve!
I really enjoyed adding a new twist to an old Halloween favourite, and was really pleased with the taste. Do let me know in the comments if I have convinced you enough to pass this tradition on!
There is a recipe card if you want to print it out, click to download or print the Halloween Shrunken Apple Head Mulled Punch recipe
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This post was a collaboration with Pink Lady® apples, all ideas and opinions remain my own.