I talked to a dear friend of mine named Wendy. Not Peter Pan's Wendy. She did ask me about something I had never made...so it was a bit of "Neverland". Her son's teacher was asking parents to make a recipe in celebration of the book the students where reading called The Lion The, The Witch, And The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. It was the first book in a series known as the Chronicles of Narnia. This recipe is from "Narnia Neverland"... as I am now calling it. I had never made Turkish Delight. It is offered to Edmond by the White Witch in the book and he joyfully accepts it and tells her everything she needs to know about her enemy (Edmond, his brother and sisters). It is a very dramatic introduction to a food. My friend Wendy thought it was something C.S. Lewis had made up and was interrested in knowing how to make it. I am a HUGE C.S. Lewis fan. I knew it was a real food that was from the middle east, thus the name. I knew it was a powdered sugar coated jelly, but that was as far as I had gone with it. It actually really bothered me that I had nothing else to tell her. Now I know there are a few of you reading this who may think I am shameless for admitting I didn't know something. I think however, that it is refreshing to have a chef say "Wow I learned something new!" Don't you? Plus, one of my favorite things on earth is admitting I am not a smarty-pants-know-it-all. It gives my husband hope!
As a result of her inquiry, I spent the next couple of hours looking up a few things and found this recipe and informative video on how to make it. It seemed simple enough, and it was! So I made some. Now I can say I know what it is and have made it. Better yet, I can offer it to my enemies and get all the secret information I need...This however does not mean I am a white witch. I ended up giving this tray of goodies to a great friend, and think that this may be a better tradition. Hopefully you have as much fun making it as I did! This is the recipe I used and a link to the video.
Turkish Delightby Natasha Levitan for About.com Food.http://video.about.com/mideastfood/Turkish-Delight.htm
Turkish Delight Ingredients
For this recipe, you will need:
4 cups of granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp cream of tartar
4 1/4 cups water
1T lemon juice
11/2 tbsp rose water ( *I didn't use rosewater, but had some rose infused powdered sugar just laying around...how weird is that? used it for the 1 cup conf. sugar)
1/2 cup minced almonds (Optional, but I added it!)
1 cup confectioners sugar
vegetable oil for greasing
Make the Turkish Delight Sugar SyrupIn a medium saucepan, combine lemon juice, sugar, and 1 1/2 cups of water. Turn the heat on medium. Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves. When the mixture boils, turn the heat to low. Insert the candy thermometer into your sauce pan. Allow the mixture to simmer until the temperature reaches 240 degrees on thermometer. Turn the heat off and set aside.
Make the Jelly Base
In a small saucepan, combine cream of tartar, 1 cup of cornstarch, and water. Turn the heat on medium. Continuously stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the lumps are dissolved and the mixture begins to boil. When the mixture achieves a glue-like consistency, stop stirring.Add in the lemon juice, water and sugar mixture from the medium pan and stir for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 1 hour (I only simmered for 25 minutes and they are fine!!) . Stir the mixture frequently so it doesn't burn the bottom of the pan. When the mixture becomes a golden color, add in rosewater and almonds stir until everything is combined.
Pour the Turkish Delight Into a Mold
Oil the sides and the bottom of your container. Pour your mixture into the container and spread it evenly. Place it into refrigerator and allow to cool overnight.
Serve or Store the Turkish DelightTake out the mold out of the refrigerator and free it from the mold. Cut it into 1 inch pieces. Place them into a bowl of confectioners sugar and thoroughly coat them. You can store your Turkish Delight in an airtight container, separated in layers by wax or parchment paper. Turkish Delight makes a sweet addition to your tea or coffee time.