Turkish Delight

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 5 hr 30 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 24 servings
Lokum, also known as Turkish delight, is a confection made with starch and syrup that's found in Turkey, the Balkans and parts of the Middle East. There are many varieties of this sweet treat-- from plain to rosewater --and they can be studded with everything from hazelnuts to dates. I love using pomegranate juice for the sweet-tart taste and vibrant red color.



  1. Brush the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with oil and set aside.
  2. Mix the pomegranate juice and cornstarch in a medium bowl until combined; set aside.
  3. To make the syrup, heat the sugar and 1 cup water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer until the syrup reaches 255 degrees F, 15 to 20 minutes. The syrup will be thick and light colored. Stir in the lemon juice to combine.
  4. Slowly add the pomegranate juice mixture about 1/4 cup a time, whisking well after each addition until fully incorporated before adding more. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, whisking frequently, until the mixture is thickened and glossy with no lumps, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with an oiled spoon. Let sit at room temperature until firm and completely cool, about 4 hours.
  5. When ready to serve, dust a work surface liberally with desiccated coconut. Flip the square of Turkish delight onto the coated surface and dust the top with more coconut. Slice into 1/2-inch cubes using a sharp knife. Toss the cubes in more coconut and arrange on a plate.

Cook’s Note

While cooking the pomegranate juice mixture and the syrup, it’s important to whisk constantly and have patience for the mixture to cook completely and for the excess water to evaporate. This will ensure the Turkish delight reaches the right consistency and color.