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Shrunken Heads in Cider


This one-of-a-kind Halloween recipe is courtesy of viewer Allison DiNatale.

  • Servings: 30

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, October Holiday 2008


  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 8 large Granny Smith apples
  • 32 whole cloves
  • 2 gallons apple cider
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 2 cups spiced rum (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, mix together lemon juice and salt; set aside.

  2. Peel apples and cut each in half through the stem; remove seeds and core. Using a sharp paring knife, carve a face, as desired, on the rounded side of each apple half. Place apples in lemon mixture for one minute; transfer to paper towels to drain.

  3. Place apples, face-side up on prepared baking sheet and transfer to oven. Let bake until apples are dry and begin to brown around the edges, about 90 minutes. Remove apples from baking sheets and press cloves into the "eye" sockets.

  4. Combine cider, lemonade, and rum (if using) in a large punchbowl; float shrunken heads on top.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Nietos
    19 OCT, 2011
    Can I make the heads in advance?
  • hardhitter09
    18 SEP, 2009
    Does anyone know how many servings? I'm hosting a halloween party and would like to know how much to prepare
  • MS11241942
    27 OCT, 2008
    I made these yesterday for our pumpkin carving party. It was really easy and got a laugh out of a few people. No one ate the apples and they got really soft. After the party I mashed them and they made delicious apple sauce!
  • cvera
    27 OCT, 2008
    I Love this idea, what a hoot ! But you could put it into any punch or cider! I used the "Simply Apple" brand juice and just add some cinnamon. I don't get the need for lemon juice Don't they brown in the Oven anyway! I 'd try to experiment with different small apples.
  • snoweater
    19 OCT, 2008
    My daughter and I made this for a Girl Scout troop meeting. The girls thought it was disgusting. Some wanted the drink but refused the head, others took the head and tasted it, they said that it tasted a little gummy. It had an interesting flavor and around it was fun halloween drink.
  • shirley97128
    18 OCT, 2008
    For sure, that is way too much salt to add in to the punch. I would guess, you dip them into the salt and lemon water until ready to add into the punchbowl or pot. I watched the program too, only remember them cutting the apples.
  • Madrillian
    7 OCT, 2008
    While they did not demonstrate dipping into lemon juice, they had a bowl of lemon juice on the counter and explained dipping into the juice would prevent premature browning while you are preparing the apples. I do not recall them mentioning the salt though. Personally, I would onit this, not sure if it would make the cider taste salty...
  • softlaunch
    7 OCT, 2008
    I'm sorry to say the tv show did not show them dipping apples in lemon/salt. I usually copy recipes from the show - is this inaccuracy an abnormal occurrence?