Make Turkish Delight Called Lokum in Your Kitchen With This Recipe

Traditional lemon and rose Turkish delight
Rosemary Calvert/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images
  • Total: 85 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 70 mins
  • Yield: 16 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
250 Calories
0g Fat
64g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 250
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 11mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 64g 23%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 0g
Calcium 7mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

You might recognize Turkish Delight as the candy featured in "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe", by C.S Lewis. The White Witch tempted the character, Edmund Pevensie, with Turkish delight and he succumbed. Sales of the candy also rose in 2005 after it was featured in the film, The Chronicles of Narnia. Likewise, this easy recipe will tempt you, too!

Turkish Delight, also known as lokum, most likely originated in turkey in the 1700's. Part of the family of confections that use a mixture of starch, like flour or cornstarch, and sugar, it's usually flavored with a bit of rose water, orange or lemon. However, variations can include chopped pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts or dates. The candy is usually cut into small cubes and individually wrapped. It is said that candy like Turkish Delight, with its gummy interior, was the early precursor of the modern jelly bean.

One of the most popular Middle Eastern confections, halvah, is also in the family of sugar and starch confections. Although some versions are nut based, made from sesame seeds, the flour based halvah is a somewhat gel-like confection made with semolina flour, clarified butter and sugar.

In the United States, Turkish Delight candy is mostly produced by a confectionery in California that also makes other exotic treats. A Canadian subsidiary of Nestle Foods makes a candy bar that is essentially Turkish Delight coated in milk chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rose water
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Steps to Make It

  1. In a 9-inch baking pan, grease the sides and bottom with vegetable oil or shortening. Line with wax paper and then grease the wax paper as well.

  2. In a saucepan, combine the lemon juice, sugar and 1 1/2 cups of water and set on medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. Allow the mixture to boil. Then reduce the heat to low and allow it to simmer until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  3. Combine the cream of tartar, 1 cup of cornstarch and the remaining water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until all the lumps are gone and the mixture begins to boil. Stop stirring when the mixture has a glue-like consistency.​

  4. Stir in the lemon juice, water and sugar mixture. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, and allow the mixture to simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently.

  5. Once the mixture has become a golden color, stir in the rosewater. Pour the mixture into the wax paper lined pan. Spread evenly and allow to cool overnight.

  6. Once it has cooled overnight, sift together the confectioners sugar and the remaining cornstarch.

  7. Turn over the baking pan containing the Turkish delight onto a clean counter or table and cut with an oiled knife into one-inch pieces.

  8. Coat with the confectioners sugar mixture. Serve or store in an airtight container in layers separated with wax or parchment paper.