Candied violets are one of the prettiest and most delicate garnishes for all your Ostara celebration custards and cakes. Very feminine, infinitely spring-like and impossibly sweet, they'll make even more beautiful all those inevitable egg dishes this sabbat calls for.
Violets offer protection, luck, promote love (and lust!), heal, and make wishes come true. Wear a chaplet of violets and you'll cure your headache, wear them in a sachet and you'll not only heal wounds but prevent evil spirits from making them worse. Mix them with lavender and violets become a powerful love stimulant. Pick the first violet that has bloomed in the spring and all your wishes will be sure to come true. Then pick some more and you'll have enough for some lovely edible Ostara decorations.
For this recipe you will need:
20 violet flowers (at least), in excellent condition with stems intact, not treated with chemicals
1/2 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
caster or fine sugar for sprinkling
Wash the flowers carefully by using a gentle spray of cool water. It's helpful to have them in a sieve while doing this, and having the stems will make handling them much easier. Lay them out on paper towels on a cooling rack. Dry completely.
Heat the sugar and water until sugar is completely dissolved. Add extract and mix well. Dip each flower in the sugar syrup with a pair of tweezers. Dust each blossom with the fine sugar (be sure each flower is fully coated) and remove the stems with a pair of fine scissors. Set the violets on the cooling rack once again, only this time use wax paper to prevent sticking, and be sure they are laying flat.
Move the flowers to a cool, dry place to set completely. This will take at least 24 hours, possibly more. Do not dry them in the sunlight to speed up the process as you will only end up with a batch of soggy, wilted violets. Store in an airtight glass container. If you need to layer your flowers, use a piece of baking parchment between each layer to prevent sticking. Keep out of direct sunlight and use within one month of creating.
Photo courtesy of wendy flanigan on flickr.