It's that time of the year again my little ghouls and these delicious baked apples are delicious enough on their own but they also make the best zombie heads for Halloween! Apples are cored and filled with a delicious brown sugar, coconut and cinnamon fruit filling. Make the faces scream with laughter or howl in pain!
I had lots of apples in my fruit basket from my vege box so I wondered what they would be like as zombie head stuffed baked apples. I actually tried this a couple of times and I found the best results were when you peeled some of the apple to make a canvas for the face.
Stuffed baked apple filling: I used prunes in this because I wanted a less sweet dried fruit but you can use sultanas, dates or your favourite dried fruit or even nuts. Even if you're not celebrating Halloween these are delicious in themselves and well worth making especially if you want an easy, low sugar dessert!
Tips on making Baked Apple Zombie Heads:
1- Apple size. My apples were 100g/3.5ozs. each and on the small side. Larger apples are easier to draw faces on but they will take longer to cook (around 1.5 hours)
Kousa corer on left
2 - You don't really need to go out and buy tools for this as you can do everything with a small paring knife and a vegetable peeler. However I found my Kousa corer (a Lebanese tool for coring zucchini) really helped with this along with a peeler and small paring knife.
3 - Don't bake these on too high a heat. The apples will really shrivel up and the faces will becomes less distinguishable.
4 - Use apples that will stay firm after baking and not turn to applesauce. Golden Delicious, Fuji and McIntosh apples are great for applesauce but not for baked apples. I used Royal Gala apples.
I'm very excited because Hallowe'en is coming up very soon and it is on a Saturday this year which means that it is a bigger celebration than usual. In May this year we were even wondering if we would be ok to have a Halloween celebration and it was a bit tenuous there for a while. Would people even want to come? But I was relieved when I told my friends of the date and they were so excited. I think we need a bit of Halloween magic quite honestly.
At the moment of writing this the group limit is 20 people in NSW and we've also chosen to have this year's party outdoor just because hey if any year has a Halloween theme, it's 2020 and we're leaning into it. However if the weather doesn't co-operate we'll have my friend's house we can go to instead. We'll have these zombie heads on offer as well as an array of other spooky treats.
Because you know, Morticia has to be herself!
So tell me Dear Reader, are you going to do anything for Halloween this year? Which apples do you usually buy? Do you eat them raw or cook them?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Baked Apple Zombie Heads
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour - 1hr 30 minutes (depending on size of apple)
- 6-8 apples
- 60g/2ozs. brown sugar
- 45g/1.7ozs. pitted prunes
- 30g/1oz desiccated coconut
- 30g/1oz. butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 cups/375ml/12.6flozs. water
- whole cloves for eyes
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 150C/300F and have a baking tray ready (no need to line). Process the brown sugar, prune, desiccated coconut, butter cinnamon and salt together until you get a damp mixture and set aside. Thermomix setting 15 seconds on speed 5.
Step 2 - Slice the tops off the apples reserving the stem. Using an apple corer or a digging out tool remove the centre of the apple but not cutting through the bottom. I used a Kousa Corer that also allowed me to cut out the eyes. Peel a circle out of the skin using a peeler and then cut out eyes and a mouth. Stick cloves in the eye sockets of some, I like to make my faces different.
Step 3 - Place on the baking tray, pour water around them and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted shows that they're soft inside. If your apples are medium or large apples you may need to bake them for 20-30 minutes longer.
Pre baked apples