Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Turkish Delights - Blackberry Jellies

Between here and the mountains is a small town called Cashmere in Washington. It's not a significant sort of place except for one thing - Aplets and Cotlets. Aplets and Cotlets are a mass produced sort of Turkish Delight. They are amazing candies and quite popular in Washington. I hear they have some popularity all over but in Washington they are famous. We stop at Cashmere to enjoy the factory and the gift shop every couple of years or so.
One year I wanted to learn how to make them at home. Several failed attempts later, I pretty much gave up on the idea. Then last Christmas I came across a recipe for something called Blackberry Jellies. These were different but had so much potential. I undercooked them and created a really tasty jelly for sandwiches. I decided to try again this past weekend and they were perfect. The recipe is not difficult, it requires patience. I, apparently, lacked that patience last Christmas. The candies are wonderful. I haven't taken the time to dredge them in sugar so they are really sticky but I plan on trying them dredged in powdered sugar to see how they compare to Aplets and Cotlets. I, also, plan on trying an apple version (with and without walnuts) to see if I can, indeed, replicate the candy.
I didn't start with frozen blackberries. When we go blackberry picking, I run the berries through my food mill to remove all the seeds and anything else because the berries are often too soft and mushy by the time we return home. I freeze this juice and used that to make this candy. It takes 2 cups of fruit puree so I used 2 cups juice and will use 2 cups apple sauce when I make an apple version.
This recipe has you dredge with granulated sugar, Turkish Delights uses powdered sugar - either will work.

Blackberry Fruit Jellies
1 bag(s) frozen blackberries
2 teaspoon(s) powdered pectin
2 3/4 cup(s) sugar, divided, plus additional for coating
1 tablespoon(s) lemon juice or lime juice
Puree fruit and 1/2 cup water in blender until smooth; strain out seeds.
Place 2 cups puree in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Thoroughly mix pectin and 1/4 cup sugar, whisk into fruit puree, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 1/4 cups sugar and cook mixture until it reaches 225 degrees F, stirring constantly. Stir in lemon or lime juice; cook 30 seconds more. Pour into a lightly oiled 9" x 13" baking pan, sprinkle sugar on top, and allow to set, about 2 hours. Cut into 1-inch squares, or use a lightly oiled cookie cutter to make other shapes. Dredge in sugar and dry on a cooling rack overnight. Scraps can be remelted and reset. Store in a box or paper bag at room temperature for up to two weeks.

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