For today’s Book Banquet I have selected Turkish Delight from C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Today’s recipe is modified slightly so it’s faster to make.
Turkish Delight was created by Bekir Effendi in 1776 when he opened a confectionery shop in Constantinople. It migrated to Europe in the 19th century, but it supposedly received it’s name because an wealthy, unknown British man bought it in huge quantities and shipped it back to Britain under the shipping name “Turkish Delight.”
What I didn’t understand about Turkish Delight and Narnia as a child is that The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe took place when sugar consumption was limited due to war efforts. I always thought Edmund was an idiot for selling out his siblings for sweets, but historically speaking he probably hadn’t had Turkish Delight, much less any kind of sweet treat, in months if not years.
Rosewater–You can use lemon juice or orange juice if you are unable to find this. (Try added lemon or orange zest if you use fruit instead of rosewater)
1/4 cup of corn starch
1 cup powered sugar
So you make the actual Turkish Delight like you would jello, BUT use twice as many gelatin packets as your instructions say to get the right texture! I don’t include measurements for these ingredients because it’s going to vary based on the gelatin packets you use. You add enough rosewater/lemon/orange to give it flavoring and, if you wish, you can add a complimentary colored food coloring. Remember to double the amount of gelatin!
After you’ve boiled the water and mixed the ingredients, pour the jello into an appropriately sized metal/glass pan that is lined with plastic wrap. The point of the plastic wrap is that it will make it easier pop the Turkish Delight out of its tin so if you want pretty/perfect squares I suggest you line it. Let it cool and put it in the fridge for about 3 hours. You REALLY want to let it set because if it’s just jello-y and not completely set the topping will get weepy. Truthfully I would make it the night before and then dust it the next day so you can be certain it had plenty of time to set.
Once it’s set pop the Turkish Delight out of the pan (I used a circular cake pan so I set a plate on top of it, flipped it upside down, and then tugged on the plastic wrap to make it fall out.) and remove the plastic wrap. Cut the Turkish Delight into squares and then roll it in the coating/topping. (The powdered sugar and corn starch) You may want to use a little more corn starch than the recipe calls for as that will help the weepy-ness. Don’t be too corn-starch happy though, it will give the Turkish Delight a toothpaste consistency when eating it if you use too much.
If you want a more correct but also more work version of the recipe, click here!