literary recipes

Literary Recipes — Edmund’s Turkish Delight

“It is dull, Son of Adam, to drink without eating,” said the Queen presently. “What would you like best to eat?”

“Turkish Delight, please, your Majesty,” said Edmund. 

The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle onto the snow, and instantly there appeared a round box, tied with green silk ribbon, which, when opened, turned out to contain several pounds of the best Turkish Delight. Each piece was sweet and light to the very centre and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious.
— The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis.

Ingredients —

• 4 cups granulated sugar
• 4½ cups water, divided use
• 2 teaspoons lemon juice, squeezed and strained
• 1¼ cups cornstarch
• 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
• ½ tablespoon rosewater
• 2 - 3 drops red food colouring
• 1 cup powdered sugar

Instruments Needed —

• A 9x9 pan
• Aluminum foil
• Cooking spray
• Pastry brush
• 2 medium-sized saucepans
• Candy thermometer
• Chef’s knife

Directions —

  • Prepare a 9x9 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside for now.
  • Place the sugar, lemon juice, and 1½ cups of the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and bring the mixture to a boil. Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, and insert a candy thermometer.


  • Allow the sugar mixture to continue boiling, without stirring, until it reaches 240° on the candy thermometer.
  • When the sugar syrup is around 225°, begin to get the rest of the candy ingredients prepared. Place the remaining 3 cups of water in another, slightly larger, saucepan. Add the cornstarch and cream of tartar and whisk until the starch dissolves and there are no lumps. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring or whisking constantly. The mixture will become thick and pasty.


  • Once the sugar syrup is at 240°, remove it from the heat. Slowly, carefully, pour it into the cornstarch mixture, whisking until it is fully incorporated.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer, whisking it every 8 - 10 minutes, for about an hour, until the candy has turned a light golden-yellow colour and is very thick and gluey.


  • After an hour, remove from the heat and stir in the food colouring and the rosewater. Pour the candy into the prepared pan and allow it to set, uncovered, overnight.
  • The next day, remove the candy from the pan using the foil as handles. Dust your work station with the powdered sugar, and flip the candy onto the powdered sugar. Remove the foil from the back and dust the top with the sugar. Use an oiled chef’s knife to cut the Turkish Delight into small squares. Dust each side of the square with powdered sugar to prevent stickiness.


  • Turkish Delight is best soon after it is made. It doesn’t keep very well, but if you want to try keeping it, store it in an airtight container with waxed paper between the layers, and dust the sides with powdered sugar again before serving.