Autumn Alternatives: Halloween isn't just Pumpkin Season

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As we move ever closer to the fright fest that is Halloween, adverts, social media and shops are awash with images of imaginatively-carved pumpkins to celebrate autumn and the spooky season. But it hasn’t always been this way. The history of pumpkin carving originates in Ireland, where it was in fact turnips that were hollowed out to act as lanterns with intimidating faces carved into them to ward off evil spirits, who it was believed visited on Halloween.

As the Irish began to migrate to the United States in the early 1800s, they took their tradition with them; however, pumpkins were far more abundant in America, so the tradition of carving pumpkins came to be. Whilst carving a pumpkin can be tremendous fun, it also requires quite a bit of time and can be a bit messy, so below are a couple of our favourite spooky alternatives using Pink Lady® apples that all the family can enjoy:

1) Carved Apple Monsters

Apple Monster Head

Much like the process of carving a pumpkin, but with much less effort and nowhere near the mess. What will you need?

  • Pink Lady® apples
  • A small sharp knife
  • 1 x lemon

All you will need to do is draw on your design and carefully carve this out using the sharp knife, then brush with lemon juice to prevent the apple from turning brown and decaying. It can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. You can also accessorise your Halloween apple monsters with all manner of edible decorations, but if you’re struggling for ideas, we’ve got some great ones here, readymade for you.

2) Shrunken Apple Heads

Shrunken Apple Heads

This is such a creative and effective alternative to carving a pumpkin, which takes a little longer to do, but is worth every moment spent doing it. As with the carved apple monsters you will need:

  • Pink Lady apples
  • A small sharp knife
  • 1 x lemon

For this method, it’s best if you peel your apple first to make sure you don’t peel away your design, plus it’s easier to carve without the peel. Then using an old pencil or pen, you can mark your design on your apple and carve away, before carefully rubbing the lemon juice over the whole apple and patting dry with some kitchen roll. Pay particular to attention to the deeper cuts to avoid browning or mould. Once your apples are completely dry, place them in an oven on the lowest setting possible and wait until they have significantly reduced in size and dried out to reveal a spooky face. When presenting these, they look effective on skewers and you can line up all your fun and spooky designs together.