Friday, October 10, 2008

Food Fun -- Dried Apple Shrunken Heads

It's apple season, and getting close to Halloween, so I thought it was a great time to trot out this fun little food/craft project.

The little faces, made from dried apples, can look really nasty and sinister -- the perfect thing to decorate a Halloween party. Tuck them in among the food at your Halloween Buffet. You can also make lots of dried apple heads and string them up like a spooky garland.

Aside from Halloween, another idea is to make apple dolls. Once dry, insert a strong wire to form a body, add clothes or other accessories.

Once dried, these apple faces last and last -- I've had the ones in the photo for years now. So once you make them, pack them carefully away, and use them again next Halloween.

You Will Need:
whole cloves
a few grains of rice
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt

Peel a large apple and coat with mixture of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of salt to prevent browning. With a potato peeler or small knife carve out eye sockets, a nose, mouth and ears. Don't worry about carving small details as they will be lost when the apple dries. Go for the big features and nature will take care of the rest. Just like people, no two apple heads come out the same.

Use whole cloves for eyes and raw rice grains for teeth (the faces also come out looking great without these extra props, just carve and let dry if you want to keep it simple). The photo at right shows the freshly carved apples used to make some of the apple heads in the photo above.

Sit apples on a wire rack in a warm, dry place for about 2 weeks. You can speed the drying process a little by drying in an oven set at the lowest possible temperature. However, the process will still take several days. The longer they sit -- months or even years, the better they look!

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Amanda said...

I followed your instructions several years ago (in 2005) for Kristen's Halloween party. I keep them in the camper now and bring them out every Halloween! I can't believe they never rotted :)

Cheri Sicard said...

I don't know the science behind it, but no, they never rot. It amazed me too.

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