For the Month of May, Rachael from Pizzarossa challenged us to make candy but not just any candy! She challenged us to make Turkish Delight, or Lokum. Or, if you live near the northwest corner of the US, aplets and cotlets.
I have to say, this truly was a challenge for me, and I won’t be insulted at all if you don’t read this recipe because I despise aplets and cotlets – the consistency is just so off. I remember being told that the delicious dessert found in the Chronicles of Narnia was actually this strange gelatin cube and I was just heart broken (honestly Vader’s got the snow queen beat, tempting people with cookies). But it was the challenge, so I started looking at some different recipes and figured maybe I’d be surprised.
I decided to go with a saffron turkish delight interspersed with some lightly chopped pistachios because I bought some saffron a long time ago and realized that I just don’t work with it often enough and spices don’t last forever.
*The one guy I found who does like aplets and cotlets thought this recipe was pretty good if that inspires confidence in you. And they come out really pretty.
1 1/4 cups cornstarch
2 1/2 cups water
3 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup roughly chopped pistachios
Mixing it up:
1. Whisk together 3/4 cup conrstarch with 2 1/2 cups water in a large bowl until smooth.
2. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stir with a spatula. Keep microwaving in 1 minute intervals, stirring between until the mixture becomes thick and bubbly and is translucent.
3. Add the sugar, corn syrup, and saffron. Stir to combine.
4. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir and repeat two more times (total of 15 minutes.
5. Add the vanilla and lemon juice, stirring to combine well.
6. Heat on high in 3 minutes intervals for ~15 minutes, until a bit of this syrup scraped onto a cold plate quickly sets into a tacky solid.
7. Add the pistachios and scrape into a greased 8×8 pan.
8. Allow to rest several hours or overnight, until firm enough to handle.
9. Dust the top of the delight with cornstarch.
10. Flip the delight out onto a small cutting board and dust the other side with more cornstarch.
11. Set the delight (on the cutting board) in the freezer for 30 minutes.
12. Use a sharp knife to cut the delight into 3/4 inch squares.
13.Combine 1/2 cup cornstarch with 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
14. Toss the squares in delight in the powdered sugar/cornstarch mix.
15. Store in a wide shallow container.
Even though I wasn’t fond of the final product I did have a lot of fun making this. I think the colors in this recipe were fantastic, and my group who likes turkish delight (single outlier) seems very happy if a bit overwhelmed with the results.