How to make shrunken apple punch

Terrify your friends and family this Halloween with our unforgettable drink – a cider punch topped with ghoulish shrunken apple heads. Use our simple step-by-step guide to make this easy but spectacular spooky drink – it's a scarily good twist on apple bobbing. If you're making for kids, just swap cider for ginger ale.

  1. Make the heads

    Squeeze the juice of 3 lemons into a large bowl. Peel 6 red apples, core and halve lengthways. Using a small sharp knife and a melon baller, create different faces and expressions on the apples (the apples will shrink so don’t be afraid to carve large features). Once carved, make sure to completely coat and rest the apples in the lemon juice until you are ready to bake.

  2. Bake

    Preheat the oven to gas ½, 120ºC, fan 100ºC, and place your 12 ‘heads’ on a lined baking tray. Bake in the oven for 2 hours or until they are partially dried and have a shrunken effect.

  3. Make the punch

    Heat 500ml of apple juice, 1 cinnamon stick and 2 star anise, to just below a simmer. Turn off the heat and leave to infuse for at least an hour. Once the ‘heads’ are out of the oven, reheat the apple juice and add 1 litre of cider (use ginger ale if you are making for children) and heat until just under a simmer. Add in 100ml spiced rum, if you like.

  4. Serve and enjoy

    Once the cider is warm, add the heads – they should float up to the surface. Use a ladle to serve everyone a glass of cider with one head floating on top.

    Shrunken apples step 4 636x418

    Calories 124 (6%), sugar 16.7g (19%), fat 0.2g (0%), saturates 0g (0%), salt 0g (1%), based on 8 servings. 

  5. Ingredients

    Get ready to whip these up at home! Take a screenshot or write down the list of ingredients below to take to the supermarket. 

    juice of 3 lemons
    6 red apples
    500ml of apple juice
    1 cinnamon stick
    2 star anise
    1 litre of cider or ginger ale (for children)
    100ml of spiced rum