I love receiving edible gifts as presents, especially at Christmas. The idea of some-one actually taking the time and care to make something delicious adds a really personal touch. Turkish Delight is one of those old-fashioned treats that some either love or hate, but is one of my favourites. At any Persian market stall, I spend an age, no matter what the weather, sampling and buying various bags of sweets and nuts, before continuing on to munch with rattling bags around the other market stalls.
350g granulated table sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tsp powdered gelatine
3 tbsp rose-water
couple of drops of red/pink food colouring or beetroot juice
100g Cornflour and 50g icing sugar
A lightly oiled 10″ x 8″ tin or dish
Bring to the boil in a heavy saucepan, the sugar, lemon juice and water, also placing into the pot a sugar thermometer.
When the syrup reaches 113F / 236F also known as the thread stage, pull off the heat for a moment and mix the cornflour with a little water.
Pour the cornflour into the pot, stir and put back onto a medium heat.
Mix the gelatine according to the instructions on the packet or jar and stir into the pot. Keep boiling and stirring occasionally for five minutes or so until it really thickens and is clear or slightly clear. Don’t panic if it’s a little lumpy.
Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve (metal) if you like but I didn’t and the result was fine.
Stir in the food colouring or beetroot juice and rose-water.
Lightly oil the tin or dish and pour in the syrup.
Leave to cool for 2 – 4 hours.
On a tray sieve the icing sugar and cornflour.
When the syrup is cool and set (it will be sticky to touch) put boiling water into a cup and place a knife in to heat for a moment.
Cut into squares and place onto the tray of sugar and cornflour and toss around until well coated. Do this, dipping the knife into the hot water each time until finished. This is a sticky job but worth it!
I found leaving them on the tray for a day turning in the icing sugar and cornflour, helps them harden on the outside and eases stickiness in the jar. Keep them loosely covered with a sheet of brown paper.
I then cut them smaller and tossed again in the cornflour/icing sugar and leaving them for another day, before tossing them again before finally jarring them.
They will keep for at least a month in an airtight container.
That is if you don’t eat them all first!