Retro, Retro - Turkish Delight no. 1
These are the stickiest things that have ever stuck in the whole history of sticking.
They add a whole new meaning to the term - jelly wrestling.
They are none other than Turkish Delight no.1. I made these for the retro recipe blog event, hosted this month by Dolores from the terrific Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity. The theme is sugar and the idea is that the recipe must pre-date 1980. Where else could I turn but to my ever faithful CWA cook book.
The preparation is deceptively simple. Boil together some sugar, water and gelatine. Flavour with lemon. That's about it.
Then comes a very innocent little instruction to pour into a wet bowl and cut into squares when set.
This would be all very well if the stuff didn't stick and cling with the determination of a crazed limpet beset by a tidal wave.
There were issues in kitchen Chez KJ.
Problem no.1 - getting it out of the bowl. The knife is immediately taken hostage. And it doesn't come out again without a fight. Then the jelly immediately just resticks itself right back to the bowl.
My solution: Hold bowl upside down and pull with fingers.
Better idea: actually, you know, read the recipe and use a hot knife to cut.
Problem no.2 - getting it off fingers.
My solution: Dump onto a cutting board. Pull one hand free. Use downward force from flat knife to pull the other other hand free. Just leave the knife stuck there.
Better idea: Use free hand to coat with cornflour and then pull other hand free.
Even better idea: Dont't use fingers in the first place, see above.
Problem no.3 - cutting into squares.
My solution: lots of effort, leverage and swearing.
Better idea: use a long bladed hot knife, see above and above, that can slice across the whole length.
Problem no.4 - retrieving said squares. Even if you manage to get the knife through the stuff, it just immediately resticks itself all back together again. At the same time clinging like a mad thing to the cutting board beneath.
My solution: abandon all decorum and rip it apart with your fingers.
Better idea: dust the board with a layer of cornflour first. Use a hot knife to cut, see above and above and above.
Problem no.5 - getting it off fingers.
My solution: spend ages in a loony comedy routine passing it from finger to finger and then clothes, hair and half the kitchen. Tiring of that, dunk the whole lot (fingers with jelly attached) into cornflour and then grip the coated part with free hand, detach and coat the remaining naked bit.
Better idea: Errrm, I can't think of one.
Enough of your trials and tribulations I hear you say. How did it taste? Not bad, not bad at all, I answer. I would describe it more as a jelly jube than a turkish delight. The outside forms into a crispy sugar crust.
And yes there is a Turkish Delight no.2. It uses honey and cornflour rather than gelatine. Maybe one day.
Turkish Delight No. 1
(adapted from the CWA Cookery Book and Household Hints)
Soak 30gm of gelatine in a little cold water and dissolve over the fire.
Bring 500gm of sugar, 250ml or water and a strip of lemon rind to the boil. Add dissolved gelatine and boil for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the juice of 1 lemon and pour into a wet dish. When cold and set cut into squares with a hot knife. Roll in cornflour and leave on a wire rack for 24 hours.