Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Divine White Stuff

I am not talking about snow!

The Holy Grail of candy making to a southerner is Divinity (pun intended). It requires patience, strength of character, and good weather. Most of us will try to cultivate friendships with those who can and do make divinity in the hopes of a tiny portion presented wrapped in a bright bow at Christmas.

I have a recipe by a gentleman who went to the church in which I grew up. Curtis Williams was an old man when I was a teen. He always seemed gruff and a bit stern, but he had a great fondness for my mother, the church secretary. He made the most amazing divinity and he gave my mom the recipe. He died more than twenty years ago, but the memory of his candy lives on.

I can remember the many failures and few successes Mom had with this, in particular, eating it with a spoon. And I remember her frustration.

Divinity has a texture all it's own and I cannot think of a single thing with which to compare it. Perhaps a nougat, but not quite.

This morning, the sun was out and a quick check of the internet showed the humidity to be only 84% so I decided to give it a try. It turned out beautifully. If you are brave, strong, and true you may want to give it a whirl. (But I would send up a prayer first.)

Divinity by Curtis Williams

3 cups sugar
1/4 c water
3/4 c light corn syrup
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 egg whites
1 c pecans

In a medium boiler, bring sugar, water, syrup and salt to a boil and cook to 250 degrees. Remove from heat and let stand 1 minute.


Add vanilla. Whip egg whites to firm peaks and add syrup mixture in a slow stream. Continue whipping until texture begins to look solid (20 - 25 minutes).


Add pecans and drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.


Now, to clean the incredible mess...

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