I had these fabulous little sweets once at a little Middle Eastern shop in Rennes, France, not knowing they were the Turkish Delight I had read about in [i]The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe[/i]. They came in all kinds of flavors – orange, rose, plum, cassis, and were wonderful. I found this recipe after searching for the most authentic; apparently, recipes that use gelatin are westernized and not quite the same. This way, you can be authentic and kosher and labor-intensive all at the same time. 🙂
And when I say labor-intensive, I mean it. And time-intensive. It took me 2 1/2 hours to make and then has to cool for 12 hours.
- 8 cups white sugar
- 9 cups water
- 2 tsp. lemon juice (I thought it should have more, but this is surprisinlgy noticable amid all that sugar)
- 2 cups corn starch
- 2 tsp. cream of tartar
- 4 tbsp. rose water (you can find this at a middle eastern market; orange blossom water is also good. Sometimes they sell it with beauty products at the health food store – it's still OK)
- 1 tbsp. cardamom
- Red food coloring
- 1 1/2 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar
- Another 1/2 cup corn starch
- Combine sugar, 3 cups water and lemon juice in a large, thick-bottomed pot. It really does have to be thick-bottomed, or it will scorch a couple hours from now.
- Stir over low heat until sugar is totally dissolved (takes a while)
- Make sure to brush the sugar crystals off the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in warm water throughout this and the next steps. It keeps the sugar from crystallizing and making a big gritty mess. (this tip has saved my toffee too!)
- Bring to a boil and boil (don't stir too much, but keep brushing the crystals away) until it reaches soft ball stage (240 degrees – 115 Celsius)
- Right before the sugar reaches soft ball, put 4 more cups of water on to boil in a separate pot. You'll need it boiling in the next steps.
- Pour into a large-enough pan off the heat, and wash out the thick-bottomed one for the next step
- Blend 2 cups corn starch, cream of tartar and 2 cups cold water in the big thick pot. It's hard to stir, but whisk the lumps out of it if you can
- Pour the 4 cups of boiling water in, whisking as you go. It will be very thick and it only gets thicker.
- Put it back on the heat, stirring until it starts to bubble (I won't say boil because it resembles more a tar pit than a liquid) Use a whisk to prevent lumps
- Pour the hot syrup in to the cornstarch mixture gradually, stirring constantly and furiously (this is where I got a blister on my finger)
- Bring to a boil and boil for an hour and fifteen minutes, until it turns a lovely golden brown. You have to stand there and stir it rather frequently to prevent the bottom from turning brown and getting all chunky. This is rather vital. A wooden spoon is best.
- Remove from heat
- Stir in rose water and cardamom and a few drops of food coloring if you like. Or you can use any other flavor – orange blossom water, orange juice, lemon juice and nutmeg, apricot puree, weird little liqueurs. Also, 1 cup of chopped toasted almonds or walnuts is nice.
- Pour into a 13" x 9" pan (glass if you've got it) that you've smeared well with oil
- Let it set for 12 hours
- Combine powdered sugar and the other 1/2 cup cornstarch in a flat dish
- Cut Loukoum into squares with an oiled knife and roll around in sugar mixture
- Store in a sealed container with sugar sprinkled between layers
This recipe was submitted by Annie on March 19, 2005.