Alien is one of those movies I can easily call up when asked for a top-ten list of the flicks that inspired me as a child. To me, watching the fierce and always brave Ripley battle Giger's sleek dark creatures was both terrifying and exciting and only cemented my desire to work in the film industry. I've seen every Alien movie so far (some better than others, but that's a different article) and am eagerly awaiting Covenant.
So when I was asked to come up with an Alien-inspired recipe, I knew I had to put every ounce of all those years of monster love into it and come up with something truly epic ...
Let me warn you, this recipe isn't easy. It takes time, patience and a few special ingredients that, while not impossible to find, might require a bit of digging ... but trust me when I say the end results are more than worth it.
For this recipe you will need:
- 2 premade pie crusts - thawed
- 1 box of instant pudding (I used pistachio but you can use any light colored flavor you like)
- 1 tub of whipped topping
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- *3 B-2 vitamin tablets (available at most health food/natural stores or online) finely crushed
- Pop rocks, finely crushed
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons cold water
- 3 teaspoons meringue powder (available wherever cake decorating supplies are sold)
- Brown food coloring
- Black food coloring
- Green food coloring
- Yellow food coloring
- Red food coloring
- 1 Teaspoon vodka
You will also need:
- Tin foil
- Sharp knife
- Cooking spray
- Small pastry brush
- Large baking sheet
- pastry bag
- small weak rubber bands
- 1 medium egg mold (available online)
- 1 blacklight
The first thing we have to do is make the egg molds. I picked up a plastic food-grade egg candy mold online. It's intended to be used for medium-sized hollow chocolate Easter eggs and was really cheap to have shipped to me. The mold is exactly the size I wanted for my alien eggs, but because the plastic would melt in the oven, I had to come up with a heatproof way to make my eggs.
I stuffed the inside of the chocolate mold cavity with tinfoil, packing it in as tightly as I could. I then put another layer of tinfoil over that and wrapped the whole thing up as tightly as possible, using the plastic mold to help guide and refine the shape.
When I was done, I was left with a perfectly shaped tinfoil egg that would stand up to the heat of the oven.
For this recipe, I ended up making four egg halves total.
Spray each tinfoil egg mold with cooking spray.
Now that we have our tin foil egg molds, gently unroll your pie crust and lay it on top of your tinfoil eggs. Using your hand, carefully press the crust around the egg tightly.
Cut around each egg, trimming off the excess crust.
As you press and trim your crust around the egg, make sure you are not wrapping it around the back side of your tinfoil egg.
Using the scrap crust, cut a strip about 1/2 an inch wide and as long as your egg.
Lay it down the center, using a little melted butter as adhesive.
Blend the edges using your pastry brush and butter. You want the seam where the crusts are joined together to be smooth and almost invisible. Do this to each of your egg halves.
Once your egg halves are formed and you have the center raised strip attached, mix the rest of your melted butter with your cocoa powder and cinnamon.
Using your pastry brush, brush this mixture onto your egg halves to give them a rich, brown color.
Using your knife, slice your eggs from the top down to about the 1/3 mark and peel the two halves down, 'opening' your eggs.
Bake your eggs in an oven at 450F/232C for between 8-10 minutes. Allow them to cool and then gently remove the tinfoil egg molds from inside, leaving just the pie crust shell.
Onto the facehuggers!
Using the scrap raw crust left over from your eggs, form a flat square about 2 inches by 2 inches and a quarter-inch thick. Press in the corners to make a slightly wonky-looking 7-sided heptagon with the bottom point being slightly more elongated than the top section. Roll out a crust snake and pinch down the length of it. Place this on top of your heptagon and join, using the same technique as you did above for your egg seams.
Next, roll out eight smaller snakes and arrange them on your facehugger as shown above. Again, blend your edges using butter. Use the blade of your knife to press small lines all down the length of your facehugger tail to give it texture. Also, if you want your hugger to have the appearance of movement, now is the time to position your tail.
Roll two small balls of crust and press into teardrop shapes and attach to the base of your facehugger tail. Score them with the knife for detail as well.
Because I wanted my facehugger to wrap around the eggs I had cooked, I placed it on top of one of my tinfoil eggs so it would mold to it as it baked.
Roll out eight more long skinny snakes for legs. Bend each one in half to form between a 45- and 90-degree angle. For now, DO NOT attach them to your facehugger. We will do that after it bakes.
Make as many facehuggers as you want. For this recipe, I made only two but had enough pie crust dough to have made four or five total.
Place all your facehugger bits and pieces onto a baking sheet and bake in your 450F/232C for between 5-8 minutes. Watch them closely as their tiny legs and tail tips can start to burn if you leave them in too long (you can see on mine below I left them in 30 seconds too long ...)
Remove them from the oven and allow to fully cool. While your facehuggers are cooling, let's make the pudding.
Mix up your box mix of instant pudding according to the instructions. Add in green food coloring until you achieve a color you are happy with.
I made pistachio pudding because I'm a freak and love the flavor, but you could just as easily make vanilla.
Add in your entire tub of whipped topping and mix to combine.
Now comes some fun magic.
Grind up all three of your B-2 vitamins until they are nothing more than fine powder. Sprinkle 2/3 of that powder into your pudding and mix well to combine. Don't worry, using just two won't change the flavor of your pudding. Any more than that and you will end up with a bitter aftertaste.
Save the last 1/3 of your vitamins for a little later.
(The addition of the B-2 vitamins is purely optional. Should you be allergic or unable to find them, not including them in your recipe isn't going to be a problem.)
By now your facehuggers and eggs should be cool, so let's move on to the assembly.
To get everything to stick together the way it should, you will need to make pastry glue.
Whisk together your meringue powder and powdered sugar and slowly drizzle in your water and brown food coloring until you achieve a goopy texture.
You want the glue to be thin enough to spread, but not so thin that it runs. The texture should resemble thick, slightly cold honey.
GENTLY, oh so gently (these suckers are FRAGILE), use your glue to cement together the two sides of each of your eggs. I found the best way to do it was to slather on a thick seam on one egg, press it against the second egg and then while still holding them together smear a solid coating inside the eggs along the seam.
To help hold the edges together while they dry, use a small, weak rubber band. You don't want it to be so tight that it crushes the pastry, you want it to barely hold the two edges together.
Using the same glue, gently adhere your facehugger legs to their bodies. I found it's easiest to dip the legs into the glue and then gently press them against the bodies. Don't press too hard, you don't want to shatter their fragile little joints.
Allow each piece to fully dry before moving on to the next steps.
Fun fact: Sprouted baby potatoes I should have planted ages ago make amazing supports for drying facehugger legs.
When they're safe to handle, gently adhere your eggs to whatever base or plate you plan to serve them on using a healthy pile of icing. Allow to dry before moving on to the next step.
Once everything has dried, it's time to start adding some color.
Again, CAREFUL is the key to success at this stage. Gently add layers of black, brown, yellow and green to the exterior of your eggs until you achieve a color combination you are happy with. This can absolutely be done with a food only paint brush, but I will urge you, if you have access to a food-grade airbrush, it will make your job SO much easier.
For the interior of the eggs, I used a combination of red, yellow and a little brown. I also gave the facehuggers a light coat of yellow and brown accents.
Now to add a little magic.
Mix the rest of your B-2 vitamin with your vodka until the vitamins dissolve. You should be left with an electric yellow water. Gently brush this liquid onto your facehugger and eggs, highlighting the edges, joints and any areas you want to call attention to. Don't use too much ... this stuff is really bitter in high concentrations. Don't worry if it goes on looking clear ... at this point, that's not a problem.
Fill your pastry bag with your pudding mixture and use that to gently pipe pudding into your egg cups. Fill them all the way to the top.
Just before serving, sprinkle your pudding with the finely crushed pop rocks and carefully arrange your faehuggers onto your pudding cups.
Congratulations, you have just made fizzing alien egg pudding cups and facehugger cookies.
BUT WAIT! IT GETS BETTER!
Remember those B-2 vitamins we used?
Go get your black light and switch it on for TRULY EPIC ALIEN AWESOMENESS!
Actual unfiltered photo!
I mean, seriously, come on ... that's RIDICULOUSLY AMAZING.
Finally, go grab a spoon and dig in!
Any uneaten portions of your facehugger pudding cups can be stored in your fridge for up to two days. Additional vintage Alien action figures stored in your fridge to keep the egg and facehuggers company are purely optional.