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The White Witch and Lavender Mint Turkish Delight

Today I am starting a feature that makes me grin when I think of it: Literary Nibbles.

I have been a voracious reader since I was a little girl “reading” books upside down from my perch inside a galvanized bucket. I devoured Little House on the Prairie and Narnia, was enthralled by the tales of Peter Pan, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Hans Brinker.

Although I loved the characters, their grand adventures, the amazing worlds the authors created, I was also enchanted by the food. Who could imagine Harry Potter without butter beer, Anne of Green Gables without raspberry cordial, or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe without Turkish Delight?

So, dear readers, in the weeks, months and years to come, I hope to revisit my literary favorites once a week by making the foods that still delight my memory.

I’ll start with the one that charmed me most as a child: Turkish Delight.

Well I remember my Dad reading aloud to us the adventures of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. I listened raptly as he read of Edmund stumbling into snowy Narnia, where it is “always winter, but never Christmas.”

I pictured Edmund cold, wet and scared, wandering alone through that winter wonderland until he heard the swish of a sleigh and was suddenly face to face with the beautiful but terrifying White Witch.

I shivered with anticipation and fear as the White Witch assumed a false loving nature and plied him with a magical warming drink and a jeweled box full of Turkish Delight. At the time I had no idea what such a thing was, but I just knew it was amazing, heavenly, delicious beyond reckoning.

It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I tasted Turkish Delight for the first time, discovered in the gleaming glass case of a sweet shop in Calgary, Alberta. With my carefully horded money I bought a few pieces, watched as the shopkeeper wrapped them up in paper, then carefully carried them out to the car as if they were breakable and precious.

I remember my fingers covered in powdered sugar as I picked up the first one, the taste of that sugar melting on my lips and tongue as I bit into the soft gelatin, the first hints of flowery flavor hitting my tongue as the candy dissolved in my mouth. It was strange and wonderful and I felt I had discovered something exotic and magical. Though I must confess that after four pieces I was more than ready for something salty! I could not for the life of me imagine why Edmund would be entranced by “whole rooms of Turkish Delight” that he could eat “all day long.” Too many pieces of this sweet confection and I’d be sick as can be. πŸ™‚

This week was my time to make it for myself. I researched all sorts of recipes, finally nailing it down to one that seemed as close to authentic as I was going to get. I didn’t have the traditional rosewater, so I made lavender water instead, mixed with a bit of mint, smiling to myself at the sound of Lavender Mint Turkish Delight. πŸ™‚

It was rather time-consuming but not difficult, and if I didn’t have to make the lavender water from scratch, it wouldn’t have taken very long at all. I know real Turkish Delight is supposed to be liberally coated with powdered sugar, but I just couldn’t make myself cover over those glistening chunks of what looked like lavender ice. πŸ™‚

It was a noble first effort, but some kinks need to be worked out. I felt the end result was too stiff and here and there were chewy bits of not quite dissolved candy, like those small lumps of Jell-O that result when it doesn’t get stirred enough. πŸ™‚ It tasted lovely though, delicate and flowery and not too overpowering.

Next time we’ll have a proper tea with Mr. Tumnus. πŸ™‚

Lavender Mint Turkish Delight

(Adapted from Middle Eastern Food)

Ingredients:

4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups cornstarch
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons rosewater
1 cup confectioners sugar
Vegetable oil or shortening

Directions:

  1. In a 9 inch baking pan, grease the sides and bottom with vegetable oil or shortening. Line with wax paper and grease the wax paper.
  2. In a saucepan, combine lemon juice, sugar and 1 1/2 cups water on medium heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves. Allow mixture to boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, until the mixture reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Combine cream of tartar, 1 cup corn starch and remaining water in saucepan over medium heat. Stir until all lumps are gone and the mixture begins to boil. Stop stirring when the mixture has a glue like consistency.
  4. Stir in the lemon juice, water and sugar mixture. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, Allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently.
  5. Once the mixture has become a golden color, stir in rosewater. Pour mixture into wax paper lined pan. Spread evenly and allow to cool overnight.
  6. Once it has cooled overnight, sift together confectioners sugar and remaining cornstarch.
  7. Turn over baking pan containing Turkish delight onto clean counter or table and cut with oiled knife into one inch pieces.
  8. Coat with confectioners sugar mixture. Serve or store in airtight container in layers separated with wax or parchment paper.
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Turkish Delight | PosyRosy - […] flavour and texture to your Turkish delight like lavender and mint, lemon – both have recipes. Or,Β orange andΒ pistachio – images but not recipes, just […]

marikoy - Hi kindred spirit! I came across your post while googling for Turkish delight today… it’s one of my favors for my modern fairytale themed wedding because it screams Narnia! πŸ˜€ Now I’ll go and search your blog if you have the recipe for Anne’s raspberry cordial too…but I’ll never try Marilla’s currant wine after what happened to Diana. πŸ˜€

» Saturday Surfing - […] Lavender Mint Turkish Delight from Rambling Tart […]

RamblingTart - Thank you SO much, Angela! I’m delighted to hear that you love the books too. πŸ™‚ They were my favorites growing up. My Turkish Delight was by no means perfect. But I figure even a bad Turkish Delight is still good. πŸ™‚

Angela Nunez - Krista,

It was so enchanting to read your blog and be transported into the world of Narnia. we have a few bibliophiles as well who LOVE The Chronicles. I will be sharing these posts with my daughter who is 10 1.2 and loves all things lovely and dainty… may be we will try your turkish delight recipe, though I am not that great of a cook πŸ™‚

RamblingTart - It scared me too, Barbara! I was so sure I’d muss it up. πŸ™‚ Ohhhh, I’d forgotten about Wind in the Willows!!! YES! I will add that to my list of things to feature. πŸ™‚

barbara - Turkish delight scares me. It seems so complicated. One of my favourite food scenes is the picnic in Wind in the Willows.

RamblingTart - HOORAY! A REAL comment from my Kat girl!! Yippee! Oh yes! I would love to watch Anne and drink raspberry cordial!! That makes me grin so big. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your precious stuff, luv!

KitKat - Hey lovey! I can finally comment now, so exciting! I have a recipe for raspberry cordial that I’ve made a few times in the past that always has turned out well, so I’ll bring it to CEC, and we can try it while we watch the dear Anne-girl. I have some Turkish Delight in my cupboard right now, found down at the Mediterranean store behind Sehome Theatre, and it always makes me think of Edmund and Lucy, too. πŸ™‚

RamblingTart - Oh thank you, Mary!! πŸ™‚ I’m so happy you like it. πŸ™‚

marye - This looks wonderful.. mint and lavender? Brilliant! I am featuring it on the roundup today. πŸ™‚

RamblingTart - Yes, please do, Jacqueline!! I’d love to hear how yours turns out, and if you have any tips for me. πŸ™‚

Jacqueline - How fantastic! I’ve never tried makingTurkish Delight, and really do love the real thing. I’ll give it a go soon, and report back!

RamblingTart - Me too, Ellie! Aren’t they so very pretty? πŸ™‚

RamblingTart - Thank you so much, Tia! πŸ™‚ It’s been in my mind to make for years now, and I finally knuckled down and tried it. πŸ™‚ I’m so glad I did!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) - Love the colour of these turkish delights!

Tia @ ButtercreamBarbie - THIS is something i would have never thought to make myself. great job and even with the kinks you desxcribed it looks good!

RamblingTart - You are very, very welcome, Laura! Your story was a comfort and an inspiration. πŸ™‚ I just popped over to your blog and entered as you requested! πŸ™‚

RamblingTart - Ohhh, THANK YOU, Lorraine! That means the world to me. πŸ™‚ I’m so happy it delights you too. πŸ™‚

RamblingTart - I’m delighted to hear that, Mary. πŸ™‚ The idea was so inspiring to me and I hoped it would be for others too. πŸ™‚

Laura Ingalls Gunn - Oh it’s been so long since I’ve had a Turkish delight!

Thank you for your kind comments. May you always be charmingly blessed.

I hope you’ll stop by my blog. I am hosting a giveaway for a darling French tote.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - Krista! This is brilliant! I loved the Narnia books and became absoltuely fascinated with Turkish Delight and sitting in my cupboard wanting to go into Narnia! πŸ˜€

MAry - I can already tell that this feature will be a favorite of mine. Your candy look fabulous. I hope you enjoyed it. Have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

RamblingTart - Oh, I’m so glad you feel the same way, Valerie! πŸ™‚ You are very welcome. πŸ™‚

Valerie - This is a treat that will always have a special place in my memory because I loved the book so much! Thank you for sharing the recipe and lovely photos.

RamblingTart - Dear Paradis, thank you SO much for your fabulously encouraging words! πŸ™‚ I’m feeling utterly wretched today, sick as can be, and your comments cheered me right up. πŸ™‚ I’m thrilled to pieces that my descriptions/photos transported you!!! Yippee! πŸ™‚ I love those books, the names, the food. πŸ™‚

RamblingTart - Dear Ozoz, I’m so happy you like my new blog AND the Turkish Delight. πŸ™‚ I keep working at it to make it just right, and I love it. πŸ™‚

mlle paradis - you are rockin it girlfriend! and it’s occurring to me i really need to update you on my blogroll. cause you are no longer popping up automatically over there. it’s a little bit of a hectic time the next little while but i will make sure and give the “new look” krista a shout out from over my side.

wowzville pics. i was like, ok are those from a movie? i mean movie stills from “narnia”? and fancy you making jewel like jelly exotica that look just like moonstones from a necklace i’ve just been admiring?!

ok so you have transported me to another place and time – detroit meets england in 1927 or something like that (i just love their names, pete and susan, edmund and lucy -read them too) which means you are doing a great job. i know you must be having so much fun with it! bravo!

Kitchen Butterfly - OMW – Krista, this is beautiful. As in your blog. As in your own domain – I had to look back through your posts to be sure I was in the right place :-). Stunning….and I love this Turkish delight!

Superb and congrats

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