December 13, 2006

Raspberry Jelly Candy

1.75 oz powdered fruit pectin
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons raspberry extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
red food coloring

Warning: the first half of the recipe needs to be completed the day before you want to eat the candy.
Grease a loaf pan. Stir together pectin, water and baking soda in small pan. Cook on high heat. At the same time, bring the sugar and corn syrup to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally. When it reaches boiling, add the pectin mixture. Cook for about 1 additional minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add extract and food coloring, stirring to incorporate. Pour into the prepared pan and allow to cool, loosely covered, overnight on the counter. The next day invert the pan on to a platter or plate full of sugar. If you have trouble unmolding the candy, use a sharp knife to loosen it from the perimeter of the pan and carefully slide your fingers underneath the candy to gently peel the candy out of the pan. Press both sides of the candy into the sugar. Slice the candy into 1/4 inch slices, then cut each slice into 1/4 inch cubes. Roll each cube in sugar. Allow to sit an additional hour before packaging or serving. I packaged some of mine in candy bags to give as gifts and the rest is stored in Tupperware.

My thoughts:
I saw raspberry extract in the store for the first time this week. I went home wondering what I could make with it when suddenly it hit me. I could make fruit candy! I went back to the store and bought the extract and a box of fruit pectin. I figured that jelly candy was really just very solid jelly with no fruit chunks in it, so I proofed the pectin, stirred it into a sugar syrup and voila! Jelly candy! I was a little amazed it worked but it did. Best of all, it doesn't require the use of a candy thermometer or any technical know-how. I made it in under 10 minutes and it is prettier and tastier than any store bought jelly candy could hope to be.

Update: Thanks for all the comments! Several people have already written to me saying they have made this recipe and loved it. I love to hear success stories. To answer a question I was email a few times: fruit pectin is used in making jams and jellies. In the warmer months it is often stored near canning supplies. Since it is winter, my store moved it to the baking isle, near the sugar, on a very high shelf. If you can't find it, ask for it. They might have it in back since it is no longer prime canning season.