Chewy fruit-nut candies originated in Armenia and were brought to the United States by immigrants. Firm but delicate, these candies offer a refreshing change from chocolates.
2 cups dried apples*
1 cup warm water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 (0.25-ounce) packets unflavored gelatin (or 2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 to 2/3 cup finely chopped nuts
Powdered sugar (for rolling)
- Soak dried apples in warm water 1 hour, then cook slowly in same water until very tender, stirring to avoid scorching. Put through food mill or sieve. Cook apple pulp until thick in 2 quart heavy saucepan, stirring frequently to avoid scorching.
- Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt and add to apple pulp. Cook until very thick, stirring constantly.
- Add gelatin, which has been softened in the 1/2 cold water. Stir until gelatin is dissolved and cook until mixture is again thick. Remove from heat. Mix in nuts. Turn into shallow 9 x 7-inch glass dish that has been rinsed with cold water. Let stand 24 hours at room temperature, uncovered.
- Cut candy in rectangular pieces and roll in powdered sugar. Set pieces on wire rack until outside is dried (texture should be slightly chewy). Store in covered container.
Makes about 1 3/4 pounds.
*To make Cotlets, substitute dried apricots for the dried apples.