Samhain rituals begin at sundown on October 31st, when the veil between the worlds of humans and spirits is at it's thinnest. Apples symbolize life and immortality and play a major role in divinations surrounding Samhain.
In the Celtic Tradition it is common to cut open an apple, placing intentions on its seeds, and burying them in the earth, while the soil is still damp. Allow these representations of your intentions for the new year to incubate and dream within the darker months of the year, to emerge at Imbolc with inspired vision and perspective.
Also, the addition of more warming foods to our diets during Samhain, helps to keep us grounded. We do not expend so much energy digesting warm foods as much as say, raw foods, and this provides balance, as our natural energy levels slow with the change of the seasons, when darkness stays with us longer throughout the next few months.
Warm the milk or milk substitute slightly and add the saffron stands to it. Cover and keep it aside.
Wash the apples, cut them into thirds or quarters (removing the core).
You can either grate the apples using a hand grater or use a food processor to finely grind the apples. Add 2 teaspoons of ghee to an average sized skillet. Once the ghee melts add the ground apple and stir well. The apples will release water. Let this water evaporate by stirring the mixture often. The entire process takes about 10-15 minutes. Do not cover the mixture. Now add your sugar or sugar substitute and mix well. At this point you may also add the milk/milk substitute that the saffron strands have been soaking in. Mix well and cook for another 3 - 4 minutes. You will notice the mixture thicken and separate from the pan. At this time add your spices (I ground fresh cardamom and a cinnamon stick, sifted it and added to the mixture, for stronger aroma). Cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Garnish with chopped almonds, almonds flakes or nuts of your choice (optional).
Serve warm with or without vanilla ice cream.
Here you will find a delicious recipe for Homemade Gulkand, a Traditional Indian Rose Petal Preserve made with fresh Rose Petals.