Our final international treat for our Global Dessert Tasting menu, based on Global Table Adventure's new year's food suggestions - is a nut candy from the Caucausus Mountains in Georgia. Normally we quickly eat a dozen grapes to accompany the strokes of the clock at midnight - in Spanish, or Portuguese, style - but this year, we'll be getting our 'grape' on with churchkhela, a Georgian grape confection.
While Sasha's recipe looks fantastic, I wanted to simplify and find a recipe that used grape juice instead of me having to puree and drain grapes overnight. I still needed 3-4 days for it to dry. And since we're an anti-walnut household (don't ask!), I went with pecans.
- 40 pecans, approximately
- 6 C grape juice
- 3/4 C organic granulated sugar
- 1 C flour
- Confectioners' sugar
I didn't have a needle. But I always have sterling silver jewelry wire. So I improvised and threaded my "needle" with heavy-duty thread. Riley and I carefully threaded the pecans onto our thread, looping it when we were finished.
In a large pot, combine the grape juice and sugar. Bring to a boil, then very gradually whisk the flour into the heated juice. Bring to a boil, again, stirring constantly. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened slightly.
Dip the strand of nuts into the grape mixture, allowing the nuts to dry for 20-25 minutes or until the coating is slightly tacky. Return the nuts to the juice, which has been kept warm, and repeat the dipping process. Allow to dry again for 20-25 minutes or so. The drier the coating, the better the next layer will adhere.