You can adapt this traditional recipe with other fruit flavours – plus, it’s totally vegan
As a child, Turkish delight was one of the few foods where my mum and I were at odds. She thought it a delectable treat.
I found it an unpalatable hybrid of chewing gum and potpourri. It wasn’t until I tried some authentic lemon, pomegranate and orange gummy jewels at my local Turkish shop that I became a convert.
I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that traditional Turkish delight is vegan, the setting agent not being gelatine, as I had assumed, but cornflour.
Grapefruit Turkish delight
The base recipe here is easily customised with other flavours: clementine, lemon and orange-blossom water is another favourite of mine.
Prep 5 min
Cook 30 min
Cold butter, for greasing
400g granulated sugar
600ml red grapefruit juice (from about 4 large grapefruit)
1 tsp finely grated grapefruit zest
3 star anise
100g icing sugar, for dusting
Grease a piece of tin foil with a little butter and press it into a 20cm square cake tin. Set aside while you get on with the sweets.
In a large bowl, mix the cornflour with 80ml water. Leave for a few minutes to allow any lumps to dissolve. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, mix the sugar, grapefruit juice and zest, and star anise. Stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cornflour mix and stir, turning up the heat a little. After a few minutes, the mixture will start to thicken.
Remove the star anise, then continue to stir slowly for another 15-20 minutes.
The mixture will gradually thicken as you do so. When you think you’ve achieved a thick enough set, drop a small ball of the mixture into a bowl of ice-cold water.
If it cools to a firm but still pliable ball, it’s ready. If the ball quickly dissolves, continue to cook and try again with another blob in a few minutes. When it’s ready, pour the mixture into the tin and leave to cool.
Once the mix has fully cooled, turn it out of the tin, remove the foil and chop it into cubes. Roll in icing sugar before serving.