Sheet Pan

Pistachio and Orange Blossom Turkish Delight

September  1, 2014
4 Ratings
Photo by Sophia Real
  • Makes 40 to 50 small pieces of Turkish delight
Author Notes

While you can find Turkish Delight outside of Turkey with ease, it's not always easy to find real Turkish delight (rather than the brightly-colored, gelatine-set cubes full of artificial flavors and colors that are often sold under the same name). But you can make the real deal at home. I will be honest: Making Turkish Delight is a labour of love, requiring one’s undivided attention at the stove for the better part of an hour. Yet the recipe itself is simple enough and requires only a handful of ingredients, most of which you will likely already stock in your pantry. Besides, one batch will yield enough Turkish delight to feed a small army and keeps rather well, making the lengthy preparation worthwhile. —Sophia R

What You'll Need
  • 400 grams sugar
  • 500 milliliters water, divided
  • 100 grams cornstarch, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 25 grams pistachios
  • 50 grams powdered sugar
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 150 milliliters of the water with the sugar and heat until the mixture reaches 240° F (115° C).
  2. Next, mix 75 grams of the cornstarch with the baking powder in a separate large saucepan, then whisk in the remaining 350 milliliters of water. Briefly bring the cornstarch mixture to a boil -- just long enough so that the mixture thickens to the consistency of mashed potatoes.
  3. Take the cornstarch mixture off the heat and pour in the sugar syrup a little bit at a time, mixing to incorporate. (I find that using a handheld whisk makes this a lot easier and helps to ensure there are no lumps in the mixture.) Return the mixture to the heat and briefly bring it to a boil before turning the temperature to low.
  4. Let the mixture simmer for about 45 minutes, whisking frequently all the while. By the end of the 45 minutes, the mixture should have thickened considerably and turned light amber in color. Stir in the orange blossom water, cinnamon, and pistachios.
  5. Mix the remaining 25 grams of cornstarch with the powdered sugar, then line a sheet pan with parchment paper and dust it with about 1/3 of this enrobing mixture. Pour the hot mixture onto the prepared sheet pan and gently shake the pan to evenly distribute it.
  6. Leave the Turkish delight to dry overnight. Use a sharp knife (oiled with a neutral-tasting oil like sunflower oil to prevent the candy from sticking) to cut the Turkish delight into small 1/2-inch cubes, and leave to dry for another day. Dust with the remaining enrobing mixture before storing the Turkish delight in an airtight box. It will keep for at least 2 weeks.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Janet Krabbe Blackford
    Janet Krabbe Blackford
  • Sophia R
    Sophia R
  • grammygm
  • EatUrVeg
Hi, my name is Sophia and I have a passion (ok, maybe it is veering towards an obsession) for food and all things food-related: I read cookbooks for entertainment and sightseeing for me invariably includes walking up and down foreign supermarket aisles. I love to cook and bake but definitely play around more with sweet ingredients. Current obsessions include all things fennel (I hope there is no cure), substituting butter in recipes with browned butter, baking with olive oil, toasted rice ice cream, seeing whether there is anything that could be ruined by adding a few flakes of sea salt and, most recently, trying to bridge the gap between German, English and Italian Christmas baking – would it be wrong to make a minced meat filled Crostata?

10 Reviews

grammygm June 12, 2015
Having just returned from Istanbul, I was anxious to replicate "turkish delight" for my children and grandchildren. The pomegranate flavor was my favorite in Turkey, but I used what I had here, and made a citrus orange flavor by adding some grated orange peel to lemon extract and letting it "marinate" a few hours. Then I strained the zest out, and used a shy teaspoonful. The recipe was wonderful, and turned out perfect. I am glad I used this recipe, because some of the others out there called for gelatin, and I did not think that the real thing used any of that.
EatUrVeg September 11, 2014
Mine didn't turn out well. It was too wet even after sitting overnight so it soaked up the powder sugar mixture making the pieces sticky and beige. The flavor was a 'beige' too. Followed the recipe. It was just for fun - not going to make it again.
SweetTooth September 8, 2014
I just finished making this (on the letting it rest part). This is my first time making Turkish Delight and I do wish that I had done it a tad differently, even though it's pretty good. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to squish it down onto the sheet pan. My Turkish delight was so thick that shaking wouldn't have done much good (cooked it for the full 45 minutes, increased the heat to medium at the end to attempt to get the light amber color- not sure if I succeeded). I ended up using a spatula to squish it down. I recommend putting some of the enrobing mixture on it if you're going to do that. Also, for those of you who just want a taste of cinnamon, definitely cut the cinnamon in half. I still got the orange blossom flavor, but I had to double that. I also added about 1 tsp of vanilla to help balance things out (that sort of worked). One last note, I have a huge sweet tooth and I would have preferred this to be a little sweeter. To me, it seems like it has a light sweetness to it. Hope this helps anyone who wants to try out this recipe!
Sophia R. September 9, 2014
Thank you for letting us know how you got on with the recipe. One way of distributing the mixture more evenly is to dust it with some of the enrobing mixture, cover with a piece of parchment paper and then flatten with another sheet pan or a rolling pin.

As for the flavours, it does come down to personal tastes and some folks will probably prefer less cinnamon and more orange blossom water while others will find the orange blossom water too floral/soapy. I like your addition of vanilla though, I might have to try that next time!
SweetTooth September 9, 2014
I'll try that next time! I don't know why I didn't think of using a rolling pin, that was silly of me. The more I eat this, by the way, the more I like it, especially since the cinnamon mellowed out as it sat (which I didn't expect). Thank you for a great recipe! The family really likes it as well.
Janet K. September 7, 2014
What about those new to cooking - or us older folks? Could the recipes be totally in American units? i.e. cups, pints, quarts, etc.?
SweetTooth September 7, 2014
The equivalent US measurement of these can be googled. There are websites that will help you out (just googled to find that 50 grams of powdered sugar is about 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp). Personally, like the author, I like using weights since it's much more accurate. But difficult to do if you don't have a cooking scale!
bhattka September 6, 2014
Could you suggest the brand of orange blossom water to use? The one I bought from a local store smelled quite synthetic.
Sophia R. September 9, 2014
Hi Kamlesh - Your best bet for finding good orange blossom water will be North African or Turkish grocery stores. I like several brands: Al-Rabih, Al Wadi and Samra are the ones I tend to use. In Paris I once picked up a bottle from A. Monteux at a large department store but have not yet seen this anywhere outside of France. I hope that helps.
bhattka September 11, 2014