Thanks to C.S. Lewis and the Pevensie children, I made some Turkish Delight. I’m currently teaching The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe in one of my classes, and when we got to the chapter on Turkish Delight, none of my students had ever tried it. So I found a recipe.
I will say, according to my (limited) research, this isn’t a completely authentic recipe, as it contains gelatin. The original recipes don’t, but apparently the gelatin makes it a bit more foolproof. I didn’t want to make the recipe twice, so I made the “foolproof” version, but I still flavoured it with rosewater, so the flavour is at least authentic. You will need a candy thermometer to make this recipe, so be warned!
I found this recipe here, and I don’t know if my students will like it (they seemed apprehensive with the flavour of rosewater when I told them about it), but at least it’s as authentic as I can attempt!
Yield: About 50 candies, depending on cut size
2 2/3 c. cold water, divided
2 tbsp. rosewater
½ tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. powdered gelatin
2¾ c. sugar
2 tbsp. honey
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
½ c. cornstarch
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2-3 drops red or pink food colouring
½ c. cornstarch
¼ c. icing sugar
Grease and line an 8×8 inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides.
In a small bowl, combine the dusting mixture of cornstarch and icing sugar. Dust a small amount into the parchment lined pan.
In a medium bowl or a liquid measuring cup, combine ½ cup of cold water, rosewater, and vanilla. Sprinkle the gelatin over the mixture and set aside to bloom.
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, 1 1/3 c. water, honey, and cream of tartar. Stir, then place on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the saucepan, making sure the tip doesn’t hit the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat to medium, and keep an eye on it, making sure it gets to 255°F. It might take about 15 minutes. Remove pot from the heat.
While the sugar syrup is coming to temperature, whisk together the cornstarch and lemon juice in a small pot. Whisk in the remaining water, 1 cup (200 ml), and whisk until no lumps remain.
Boil, whisking continually, until the mixture thickens and turns into a thick paste, like the consistency of petroleum jelly.
Pour a small amount of the sugar syrup (once at temperature) into the cornstarch mixture. Pour the mixture back into the sugar syrup mixture, and whisk over low heat until combined with no lumps and fully incorporated.
Remove from heat, and whisk in the gelatin mixture and food colouring. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
Transfer the mixture into the prepared square pan. Cool at room temperature for at least 3 hours, then cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap and place in the fridge to cool 8-10 hours, or overnight.
Spread a bit of the dusting mixture on a large work surface, and lift the Turkish Delight out of the pan. Using a knife that has been sprayed with oil, cut the candies to size and dust on all sides with the cornstarch dusting mixture.
Keep in an airtight container.