While candy making may seem daunting at first, it can be quite simple. All you need are a few, easily found ingredients – and a reliable recipe.
By Marissa Sertich
I am a candy freak. Before reaching for a cookie or pastry, I go for marshmallows, taffy, gummies – anything sweet, gooey, chewy that makes a dentist cringe. I devour them all – Twizzlers, Runts, Malt Balls. I even like Necco Wafers, which seem to have tragically slipped into the Halloween bucket reject pile.
Some may scoff at my lowbrow addiction, but there is a lost art behind these now mass-produced confections. Hand -pulled taffy and homemade fudge seem like a treat of yesteryear, rather than the attainable treat I would like to eat today.
While candy making may seem daunting at first, it can be quite simple. Sugar syrup is the foundation for most candy, with added fillings such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, nougat, fruits and so on. All you need are a few, easily found ingredients – primarily sugar – and perhaps a few others such as gelatin, pectin (more customarily know for making jellies and preserves), fruit puree – and a reliable recipe. Sugar syrup is the foundation for most candy, with added fillings such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, nougat, fruits and so on.
One of the simplest candies is Pectin Fruit Jellies, using sugar, fruit puree, applesauce and pectin. Take a break from cakes and pie, and try your hand with some homemade confections.
- 5½ oz Applesauce
- 8 oz Fruit Puree
- ½ oz Pectin
- 1#12 oz Sugar
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- On a baking sheet, reduce applesauce in a 200F oven for 30 minutes
- Combine reduced applesauce and puree in a medium sauce pan.
- Combine pectin with 2 Tbsp of the sugar and whisk it into fruit puree – 4. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly
- Add half of the sugar and return to a boil, continue stirring
- Add remaining sugar, continue stirring, and return to a boil
- Stir in lemon juice
- Pour into set molds, or baking sheet, and set overnight
- Sprinkle with sugar and remove from molds, or turn out of pan and cut.
Marissa Sertich Velie is a New York based pastry chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. She passionately documents her adventures of baking and eating her way through the fascinating (and sometimes nutty) underbelly of the American pie. Velie has a Master's degree in Food Studies from NYU.