October in Ontario means many great fruits and vegetables, and my new favourite is pears. They are so good on their own but I had been looking for a few recipes to try other things when I stumbled across this idea, just in time for Halloween.
Pears are the perfect shape for a skull. Smear some white chocolate on it and draw on some milk chocolate features and you've got a zombie head.
(I just started reading this blog and it's already a favourite. This is my first instructable, though.)
Step 1: Prepare Your Pear
You'll need a pear, of course. I used Bartletts and tried to get a variety of shapes and sizes. You want the pear to look like a skull but it looks more zombie-like if the pear is imperfect and has some bumps and bulges.
Remove the pear's stem and skewer the pear with a stick. I used dollar store wooden skewers. I got as close to all the way in as I could without going all the way through - the further in the stick the more support the pear will have.
Stick the pear-on-a-stick into something to hold it upright and steady. I used styrofoam from a box my TV came in that I was saving in case I move (I figure I can use the styrofoam even after - it'll just be a bit pierced). The pears do get heavy so make sure whatever you use can properly support the pears-on-a-stick.
Step 2: Melt the White Chocolate
Note: There are many methods to melt chocolate. I am a notorious burner of things I have to keep an eye on or repeatedly stir and have great success with the bowl method. Feel free to use any method you like it.
Fill a small bowl from a set of glass mixing bowls with hot tap water (you can boil the water but really hot tap water is good enough).
Float a small glass serving bowl in the mixing bowl and fill it with white chocolate chips. I used about a half cup for two pears.
Using the bottom of a metal teaspoon, stir and muddle the chocolate chips until melted and creamy. Be careful not to get any water into the chocolate, though. I'm not a chocolate expert but I do know that's a big no-no.
Step 3: Ice the Pear
Pour some of the water out of the mixing bowl. I do this to make things easier on myself. The idea is to leave some water in the bowl to keep the chocolate warm, but take out enough that the bowl with chocolate is no longer floating. I just find it easier to scoop out chocolate and not get water in.
Using the metal spoon, smear the white chocolate all over the pear. I tried a few methods. Smear it around the pear. Smear the pear from top to bottom. Smearing all the way around the pear in one cycle, sort of like icing a cake, kept it as smooth as possible. You don't want to fiddle with it too much, though, or it gets stickier and stickier. Again, I'm not too experienced with chocolate so there may be a better way to apply chocolate to a pear than smearing it on with a spoon. But I like the look.
Let the pear stand. I let the pear stand for about an hour (but only that long because I was watching a TV show).
Step 4: Decorate the Pear
Melt some milk chocolate chips. I used the same process as with the white chocolate, only less chips - same mixing bowl but new hot water, and a new serving bowl and spoon. I suppose dark chocolate might look darker/better (but I am not a fan).
Try out a few faces on paper. I am not blessed with any sort of drawing talent so this was a must for me. I also googled 'zombie cartoon faces' to get some ideas.
Draw your zombie face on the pear. I used a toothpick for this. I also found twirling the toothpick in the melted chocolate helped a lot to keep it from dripping too much. It also helps to go slow - let lines harden before intersecting with new lines.
Step 5: Eat the Pear!
Cool the pear in the fridge. This is probably not necessary but it hardens the chocolate a bit.
Eat the pear. This is necessary. Enjoy!