Six of the best Halloween goodies to get you in the holiday spirit

1. Pumpkin seeds. Cut open the top of your pumpkin and gut it. Remove the seeds from the strings and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Salt to taste and bake them at 480ºF until dry, so for about 20 minutes—they’ll start to turn a light golden when they’re done

pumpkin seeds

2. Candy apples. For six apples, place ½ cup of corn syrup, 2 cups of sugar and ¾ cup of water in a saucepan, and cook over a medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer to crystalise the mixture-don’t stir it. Simmer until it reaches 290ºF, which is sugar’s soft-crack stage, then remove it from the heat. Drive a wooden stick into one of your apples and dip it into the mixture. Place the apples onto a sheet, and refrigerate them to allow them to set

candy apple

3. Pumpkin pie. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Steam 1lb of pumpkin flesh, cut into 1in chunks, then place it into a sieve and press lightly to extract excess water. Lightly whisk two large eggs and the yolk of a third together. Place 1tsp of ground cinnamon, ½tsp of grated nutmeg, ½ tsp of ground cloves, ½ tsp of ground ginger, 3oz of soft dark brown sugar and 10fl oz of double cream into a pan, bring it to simmering point and whisk together. Then pour it over the eggs and whisk together. Add the pumpkin and whisk again. Put the filling into a sweet crust pastry case, 9in in diameter and 1½in deep, and bake for 35 minutes, by which time it should be puffed around the edges and slightly soft in the centre. Remove it from the oven and cool it on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature with cream or crème fraïche. Serves 8

pumpkin pie

4. Caramel popcorn. Pop 14 cups of popcorn and place it in a buttered metal bowl in a 400ºF oven to keep warm. Place 2 cups of brown sugar, 1 cup of butter, ½cup of corn syrup and 1tsp of salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. When boiling, stop stirring for five minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1tsp of baking soda. Stir well until blended. Remove the popcorn from the oven and pour the mixture over it. Toss gently with a buttered fork to distribute evenly. Spread the popcorn onto baking sheets and bake in a 400ºF oven for one hour, stirring ever 15 minutes. Then remove it and leave it to cool. Once cool, break into clusters. Serves 10

caramel corn

5. Pumpkin fudge. Line a 9in tin with foil and set aside. Heat ¼ pint of milk and 18oz of sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Add 6½oz of pumpkin and 1tsp of cinnamon and bring back to the boil. Stir in 7oz of marshmallows and 2tbsp of butter and boil, stirring occasionally, for 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 6oz chocolate chips and 1tsp vanilla extract. Stir until creamy and melted. Pour the mixture into the tin and cool. Then remove and cut into squares. Serves 16

pumpkin fudge

6. Spiced autumn punch. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Stud two oranges with eight whole cloves, and bake for 30 minutes. Place 2½ pints of apple juice and a cinnamon stick in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce to medium heat and simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in ¼tsp of ground nutmeg, 4tbsp of honey, 3tbsp of lemon juice and 17fl oz of pineapple juice. Serve hot in a punch bowl with the two studded oranges floating on top. Serves 16

autumn punch