Try this delicious twist on a traditional, sweet favourite.


  • Groundnut oil, for greasing

  • 900g (2lb) granulated sugar

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 175g (6oz) cornflour

  • 1 tsp cream of tartar

  • 2 tbsp rose syrup

  • 2–3 drops pink food colouring

  • 100g (4oz) shelled unsalted pistachios

  • Icing sugar, to dust

  • Cornflour, to dust


  • 1.

    Line a 20cm (8in) square baking tin (4cm/1½in deep) on all sides with baking parchment and lightly oil it with groundnut oil.

  • 2.

    Place the sugar, lemon juice and 340ml (12fl oz) of water in a pan and put it over a low heat. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to the boil, without stirring, and slowly, using your sugar thermometer, bring the mixture up to 118ºC (245ºF) – this will take about 15 minutes.

  • 3.

    Meanwhile, in a separate pan (this one must be really deep and truly heavy bottomed), place the cornflour, 570ml (1 pint) cold water and the cream of tartar. Give it a good stir and place over a low heat. Keep stirring so that there are no lumps (it’s like making cheese sauce). Bring to the boil and beat quickly until the mixture looks like wallpaper paste. Take it off the heat. This is strangely satisfying.

  • 4.

    Place the cornflour mixture back on the heat; as soon as the sugar mixture has reached 118ºC (245ºF) pour it over the cornflour mixture. Stir it well – it will look like an ocean of icebergs – and if any lumps persist, whisk them out with a metal whisk. Keeping the heat low, bring the mixture to a geyser-plopping simmer. Let it simmer like this, plopping and sighing, stirring all the time for an hour – yes, an hour. 

  • 5.

    Take the pan off the heat, stir in the rose syrup, the pink food colouring (as much or as little as you like) and the pistachio nuts. Pour the pink blubber into the prepared tin and leave to cool and set overnight. It smells amazing.

  • 6.

    Once set, cut the Turkish delight into squares and dust with equal amounts of icing sugar and cornflour sifted together.

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