Proust’s madeleine, Charles Arrowby’s toast, Edmund’s enchanted Turkish Delight. Don’t you love a character with a penchant for a particular food? I first made Turkish Delight for my Honey Girl and my Sweet Boy years ago when we were reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I was more interested in the candy than the book, truth be told. We made a batch and sort of forgot about it until we revived the recipe a few years ago when my Honey Girl was in high school and I was missing having little ones. I’ve included it in the Christmas baking list since. It’s a nice contrast to the rich treats that surround it: butter cookies, fudge, caramels. Plus, it’s very quick to make, and a pretty jewel of a treat both before and after you’ve given it a gentle snowfall of confectioners’ sugar. The rosewater gives it a delicate floral perfume and flavor, but you could use cherry, mint, orange, or lemon extract if the rosewater doesn’t appeal to you. In fact, it would be a nice kiddy treat with a fruit flavoring. I’m partial to the rosewater and, like Edmund, find it pretty irresistible.
Music for making Turkish Delight
Be a kid again: A Classic Cartoon Christmas
This recipe is part of the Cookie Baking and Candy Making Plan for Christmas 2010 (here).
Turkish Delight Tips
I use Certo brand liquid pectin. You may have to hunt a bit for it outside the jam and jelly season. I looked at four stores before I got wise and picked up the phone. Cub Foods in Minnesota carries it year round. Amazon also carries it and would be an easy option if you plan ahead.
2 T. water
2 three-ounce packets plus I T. liquid pectin
½ t. baking soda
1 ¼ c. light corn syrup
¾ c. sugar
1 t. rosewater, or other extract
2 drops red food coloring, if desired
1 T. fresh lemon juice
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- In a large saucepan, combine the water and pectin. Stir in the baking soda. The mixture will foam and become frothy.
- In another large saucepan, combine the corn syrup and sugar.
- Place both pans over high heat and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Cook four to five minutes.
- When the pectin mixture has stopped foaming and the sugar is boiling, slowly pour the pectin into the sugar, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute stirring constantly.
- Add the rosewater and the food coloring, if using, and stir. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
- Pour into an eight-inch square glass baking dish and let stand until firm, about three to four hours.
- Cut the Turkish Delight into one-inch squares and dust them with confectioners’ sugar. Allow them to dry on a rack at room temperature overnight.
- Dust the squares with confectioners’ sugar again and place them between layers of waxed paper in a tin. They will keep for about three weeks.
Storage tips here.
Resources for hard-to-find ingredients here.