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Turkish Delight


  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar plus 1/4 cup cornstarch mixed for final dusting


  1. Line a 9 inch square pan with plastic wrap or foil and oil well.
  2. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, 1 1/2 cups of the water, and the lemon juice. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture boils. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 240 F on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage.) Remove the pan from the heat and move onto step #3.
  3. In a second heavy saucepan (larger than the first), stir together 1 cup cornstarch and the cream of tartar. Gradually stir in the remaining 3 cups of water until no lumps remain. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and is a thick, gluey paste. This happens very fast, don’t step away and don’t stop stirring!
  4. Slowly pour the hot sugar, water, and lemon juice into the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often to prevent sticking, for about 1 hour, or until the mixture has become quite thick. It should be so thick that it drawing the stir spoon across the bottom of the pan leaves a trail that closes in slowly. You can test the texture of the product by dropping a blob into some cold water. It should be fairly solid and chewy, not runny.
  5. Stir in the flavoring (see below) and tint as desired with food coloring. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Cool to room temperature and let stand, uncovered, overnight to set.
  6. Sift the confectioners sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup cornstarch onto a large cutting board. Turn the Turkish delight out and cut into 1-inch squares with an oiled knife. Roll pieces in the sugar mixture to coat well. Store in an airtight container with sheets of waxed paper, dusted with the sugar mixture, separating every layer.


For flavorings, just use your imagination. Because you’re adding it at the end for a more pronounced flavor, make sure whatever you use is very concentrated (i.e. don’t add orange juice or actual lemonade, it will take too much to flavor it and make your product soft) For pink grapefruit, I had some concentrate in the freezer, I just boiled it down until even more concentrated and added it at the end. For orange, I just used orange extract and some lemon oil. For raspberry, I boiled some homemade raspberry jam down and strained out the seeds.