Rosewater Turkish Delight

Rosewater Turkish Delight with Pistachios

Makes about 70 1-inch squares

For the Nuts:
1 cup pistachios

For the Syrup Mixture:
2 cups cold water
2 cups plain white sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons rosewater
Grated rind of one lemon
¼ teaspoon salt

For the Cornstarch Mixture:
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup cold water
1 tablespoon rosewater
2 drops red food color, optional

For the Confectioner’s Sugar Coating:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
¾ cup cornstarch

Prepare an 8-inch x 8-inch square pan. Spray the pan lightly with cooking oil and dust it with cornstarch. Or, line the pan with parchment paper and dust the paper with cornstarch.

Toast the pistachios. Place the pistachios in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Toast the nuts stirring constantly to evenly heat all sides until they are fragrant — about 3 — 4 minutes. Set aside.

Nuts can be prepared a day or two ahead and stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place, or in the refrigerator. If the nuts are stored in the refrigerator, bring them to room temperature before stirring them into the nougat mixture.

To prepare the syrup: In a separate saucepan with a heavy bottom, combine the water, sugar, lemon juice, rosewater, lemon rind, and salt.

Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for thirty minutes, stirring occasionally to create velvety, pale yellow syrup. Continue simmering the syrup until the surface is covered in bubbles or when a candy thermometer reaches 260 degrees.

Turn off the heat.

While syrup simmers, prepare the cornstarch mixture: In a saucepan with a heavy bottom, combine the cornstarch, cream of tartar, cold water, and rosewater. Mix until smooth.

To make the nougat, place the saucepan with the cornstarch mixture over medium heat. In a slow, steady stream, pour the sugar mixture into the cornstarch mixture, stirring to combine.

Cook the syrup/starch mixture for approximately 15 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The mixture will become thick and glossy.

Remove the nougat from the heat. Add two drops of red food color, if desired, to create a pale rose color.

Add the pistachios, stirring until the mixture cools slightly.

Spread the nougat into the prepared pan. With oiled fingers, pat the nougat evenly to create as uniform a surface as possible. Allow the nougat to set at room temperature for 2 hours, but up to 12 hours.

To prepare the powdered sugar mixture: Combine the confectioner’s sugar, cardamom and cornstarch. Sift the powdered sugar mixture onto a work surface or a piece of parchment paper.

To finish the Turkish Delight, turn the nougat onto the powdered sugar mixture. With a sharp, oiled knife, cut the Delight into one-inch cubes. Liberally coat the cubes in the powdered sugar mixture.

Store the Turkish Delight in layers in an airtight container. Turkish Delight will keep in the refrigerator for up to two months, or in the freezer for six months.