Halloween is a fabulous time of the year, and a great excuse for a get together with friends and family. As a child we used to go to friend’s houses in the country and have a big, spooky party. When my kids were younger, I used to take them trick-or-treating in Notting Hill. People used to get dressed up to the nines, which was a true sight to behold! Pumpkins are perhaps the thing that most people symbolise with Halloween, and are also great fun to create. My Dad grows pumpkins in his garden, they are huge and hang off the vines. Pumpkin soup is a delicious reward from all your hard work carving and not forgetting pumpkin seeds as a healthy snack. Here’s a recipe for toffee apples, which are a real treat to have at this time of the year.
- 8 Royal Gala apples, stalks removed and washed thoroughly
- 8 toffee apple sticks – Burgon and Ball do some great ones
- 450g demerara sugar
- 50g unsalted butter
- 1tbsp golden syrup
- 2tsp cider vinegar
- 150ml water
- Sugar thermometer
- Greaseproof paper
- Clear cellophane for wrapping the apples
- Ribbon to tie around the tops of the apples
Remove the stalks from the apples and push the sticks into the tops in their place. Put the rest of the ingredients into a heavy bottomed pan and simmer gently until the sugar has melted. Once melted, turn up the heat and put the thermometer into the pan. When the temperature reaches 142°C, remove from the heat. Quickly swirl each apple in the toffee mixture, covering well. Allow excess toffee to drop back into the pan.
Place each apple (stick upright) on the paper until the toffee is hard and cooled. Once cooled, cut a square of cellophane for each apple and pull each corner up around the apple to encase it. Tie the corners together around the stick with a small ribbon and serve in a big basket ready for when you get that spooky knock at the door!