Sunday, October 16, 2011

Turkish Delights - Lokum

Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia just after sunrise in Turkey.

Turkish Delights

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...We are home and ever so slowly coming down to earth. It's been a wonderful holiday and I'll be sharing some of our adventures and food discoveries with you over the next few weeks. I thought I'd start with two of the Turkish delights we encountered while we were traveling. One, of course, is the confection immortalized by C.S. Lewis and used to tempt Edmund in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." The other addresses an adventure that's been on my bucket list for years now. Time and place finally coincided, and I was able to join a sunrise balloon squadron that soared over the near mystical topography and rock formations of the Rose and Pigeon valleys in Cappadocia. This part of the country is riddled with underground cities and outcropping that have been hollowed out to form churches and homes originally built to protect inhabitants from marauding invaders. It is also home to thousand of pigeon houses and roosts. If you look closely at the bottom of the second photo, you can see an example of this. At one time, pigeon droppings were used as fertilizer and area farmers made life as pleasant as they could for the birds whose waste was used locally for crops or sold and transported elsewhere. Most of the pigeons are gone now, but enough remain to provide some local color and allow the imaginative to journey back in time. As it happens, Turkish Delight, the confection, was served with champagne at the end of our flight. It was a very civilized way to begin the day and a great way to introduce today's recipe.

This candy has the consistency of Gummy Bears or Chuckles and it will not be to every one's liking. It is made from sugar and cornstarch and is chewy, even when fresh. I've chosen the most basic of recipes for today's post and used rosewater and creme de menthe to flavor my candy. The addition of fruit and nuts would produce a more sophisticated confection that is more like a nougat than a jelly. It would also make the candy more difficult to prepare. I'm going to follow the line of least resistance and stick with the more simple application. You will need a candy thermometer to make this and it is important to follow instructions exactly. The finished candy has a tendency to weep, so it is important to make sure it is dry before you coat it with confectioners' sugar. I let mine sit for two days before I coated it. While this will be nothing more than a curiosity for some, those of you who like to make candy for the holidays might like to give this recipe a try. Here's how it is made.

Turkish Delight...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

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 or creme de menthe
Optional: 2 to 3 drops red or green food coloring
1 cup confectioners sugar
Vegetable oil or shortening

1) Grease sides and bottom of a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with vegetable oil or shortening. Line with wax paper or foil and grease pan again.
2) Combine lemon juice, sugar and 1-1/2 cups water in a saucepan set over medium heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves. Allow mixture to boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, until 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 mixture begins to boil. Stop stirring when the mixture has a glue like consistency.
4) Stir in lemon juice, water and sugar mixture. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently.
5) Once mixture has become a golden color, stir in rosewater or creme de menthe and food coloring if using. Pour mixture into prepared 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.

One Year Ago Today: Cherry Cupcakes

Two Years Ago Today: Chicken Pot Pies

You might also enjoy these recipes:
White Chocolate Pumpkin Fudge - Flour on My Face
Pumpkin Macadamia Fudge - The Domestic Mama and Village Cook
Candy Corn Snack Mix - Jane Deere
Pumpkin Fudge - Brown Eyed Baker
Turkish Delights - The Royal Cook


Rhonda said...

I remember my first bite of Turkish was like eating a gummy candy that tasted of roses. Delightful!

Ginny Hartzler said...

Welcome back! I'm so glad you had a fantastic trip. And what a great balloon picture, I love it! I have been to two got air balloon festivals. Yours is just so pretty, did you go up in one? The candy looks very festive, it would be pretty for Christmas.

Cloudia said...

Made my FIRST soup tonight- delight!

pretty post

Aloha from Waikiki;

Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

Katarina said...

Welcome back! I'm looking forward to hear about your adventures :)

Anonymous said...

I love it.And my favourite one is with rosewater followed by the one with pistacio;))
Great trip I am sure you will delight us with more;))

What's Baking?? said...

Very nice pictures...holidaying anywhere in the world is always great! Your candy will be a good idea for trick or treat on halloween's night.

A Spoonful of Yumm said...

love the pics :)

That Girl said...

I was in a musical production of Narnia and now I can't see Turkish Delights without getting the song stuck in my head!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I love mint-flavoured lokoum, but you don't see it very often! I went ballooning once when I was about 16. That was pretty much when I developed my fear of heights. Didn't have that amazing landscape to look at though.

Lynn said...

Welcome home Mary, sounds like you had an amazing trip! The candy is almost as pretty as the balloons:@)

Sue/the view from great island said...

So glad you're back, I've been dying to hear all about your adventure. The ballooning and champagne and Turkish Delights are just too magical for me to imagine sitting here at my computer!

Anonymous said...

The first picture you made is amazing! I am glad you enjoyed your trip!! I never tried Turkish delights, actually I've never been to Turkey! I'd love too, hope i'll can soon!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

It is on my bucket list to take a sunrise hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia in Turkey. Some day I will find myself there.As for Turkish Delight it is one of my favourites bit I have never attempted to make it myself.You give me courage Mary!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Rhonda, welcome to One Perfect Bite. I hope you'll become a regular visitor and join us in the daily madness. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

StephenC said...

I believe I ate Turkish delight as a child. Whether it was homemade or store-bought I have no idea. It does take me back though.

Tanna said...

Breathtakingly beautiful photos, Mary!! Welcome home! Our delight to have you back... blessings ~ Tanna

Anonymous said...

So happy for you that you got to go on this fantastic adventure. I love turkish delights too, the ones from Turkey had so many flavours!

Pam said...

Welcome back, Mary! It sounds like you had a great trip. Love the balloon pics and the Turkish Delight also!

Pondside said...

My mother loves Turkish Delight, but it's not something that I enjoy at all unless the ration of pistachio to jelly is very high!
Thank you very much for the morning glory muffin recipe! I'm going to make them if I have all the ingredients - they'll be perfect with tea this afternoon.

Ramblin' On said...

Just made your banana carrot muffin. It's so good. I have made at least 5 recipes from your site and all are delicious. I love your taste. Thank you for all your hardwork to make these recipes available.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marry welcome back !!!!
I come from cappadocia
i like turkish delight (lokum)
thans for the recipe
Have a nice sunday

Rona said...

I love your pictures of Cappadocia! When I was in Turkey over the summer, Cappadocia was the one place that I really wanted to visit. Unfortunately, I didn't get to go but hopefully I will on my next trip to Turkey.

I have been wanting to try to make Turkish Delight from scratch so I may try your recipe out soon!


Susan..... said...

Welcome Home Mary!
You are now an Official Globe Trekker. Look forward to the weeks to come.

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Love the photos! Must have been an amazing trip! Underground cities?!!! The stuff of my childhood imagination. I would love to see that! Glad you're back safe.

Chiara said...

Welcome back, Mary !I love turkish delights, have a great week....

mia xara said...

Welcome back,Mary!Sounds like you had a great time,looking forward to the recipes you've collected during your trip..I've always loved Turkish delights,these ones look just right...mmm

Faith said...

Oh Mary, what a great post! I just recently made Turkish Delight for the first is definitely one of my favorite kinds of candy! :) I hope you had a wonderful vacation!

France@beyondthepeel said...

That hot air balloon photo has a magical quality about it. I always wondered what a turkish delight was...know I know. They are not at all what I imagined.

LittleRed said...

I love Turkish Delight as does my son. His introduction to it was indeed from the Narnia movies. We actually made a batch this past Christmas while visiting with friends in New Zealand who also appreciate the candy. We made the rose water flavour which I I feel like I need to make some more. Would be a lovely gift at Christmas if you know the tastes of the recipient. You are right though, is really a love it or hate it kind of treat:)Thanks for sharing.

Susan said...

What a wonderful experience! We loved Turkey and hope to return sometime soon. Your photos are amazing!

Stephanie said...

This is a great post. I was in Turkey a few years ago and your descriptions brought me back. Thanks for sharing.

Bahar said...

I have been a silent follower for a long time until you started your posts about my amazing country.I am so glad and proud that you had great food and great time over here.I hope you come back for different experiences.
by the way great pictures...

Eileen said...

Turkish Delights are like gummy bears? No wonder Edmund couldn't get enough - I think that's most kids' favorite food! I love your whole series about Turkey. Thanks for taking us along on your journey.

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