Homemade Northwest Apple Candy

I apologize for my extended absence from updating the blog! I keep planning to put something up and then life gets in the way. I'm going to start making more of an effort since I know I will be trying lots of new recipes this fall and winter! Here is the first of many. I hope you enjoy trying them with me!

Have you ever eaten Aplets and Cotlets? They usually show up in stores around the holidays in big boxes for gift giving. I LOVE them.

Here's a little background from Wikipedia:  

Liberty Orchards is a candy company located in Cashmere, Washington. Founded originally as an apple farm in 1918 by Armenian business partners Armen Tertsagian and Mark Balaban, the company moved into canning and then confectionery during the 1930s and 1940s. 

Their products include different types of jellied fruit candies resembling Americanized versions of Turkish Delight. Aplets & Cotlets are Liberty Orchards' oldest and best known products. These two types of confection are mainly sold together in a single box; they are produced from a recipe for locoum using local apples and apricots. 

 Other flavors produced by the company include pineapple with macadamia nuts, strawberry with walnuts, orange with walnuts, peach with pecans, blueberry with pecans, and raspberry with pecans. They also produce sugar-free, nut-free and chocolate-covered varieties, as well as a number of traditional filled chocolates (truffle, caramel, and mint, for example). In 2009, the company has introduced a cherry-pecan locoum, as well as four varieties (mango, strawberry, watermelon and papaya) dusted with a sweet-sour-spicy coating.

I have tried many things from their catalog over the years, but the Aplets and Cotlets remain my favorites. I remember when I was little they used to sell small bars of them in the produce section of the grocery store and I was always SO excited when my mom bought me one! I would savor every bite of the smooth candy, crunchy nuts and sweet, powdery coating.

They can be a little expensive, especially since for the most part in stores they are only available in large boxes. On occasion I have ordered a box of the "bulk" trimmings, the pieces that aren't pretty enough to put in the gift boxes. But, since it's just about fall, and apple and pumpkin recipes are flooding Pinterest, along with gift ideas for Christmas, I thought it would be a good time to share this recipe.

Makes about 64 small cubes

3 tbsp gelatin

3 cups apple juice, unsweetened apricot juice, or grape juice (I guess Grapelets were available in the 70s but were later discontinued.)

1 1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp lemon juice or more as needed

3 tbsp lime juice

10 2/3 tbsp cornstarch

1 1/2-2 cups chopped walnuts (your preference)

1 cup powdered sugar


Soften the gelatin in 1/2 cup of the apple juice.

 Boil remaining juice with the sugar for 15 minutes to concentrate it.

Mix the lemon and lime juice and add all but 1/4 cup cornstarch to dissolve it in the mixture (I measured out all the cornstarch into a bowl and then reserved 1/4 cup of it.)

Add the gelatin mixture to the boiling juice and stir until melted.

Add the cornstarch mixture to the boiled juice, making sure to whisk continually to avoid lumps.

Boil rapidly for 12-15 minutes until very thick, stirring constantly. Taste for sweet and sour and add more lemon juice if desired.

Mix in the walnuts.

Pour mixture into a 9-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan that has been dipped in cold water.

Let paste harden 12 hours or overnight, then cut with a sharp knife into squares.

Mix together the reserved 1/4 cup cornstarch & powdered sugar. Remove squares with a spatula & roll each in the powdered sugar mixture (the cornstarch helps keep the sugar dry.)

Now enjoy! These would be great given as a gift too! :)

NOTE: When you store these, you should arrange them single layer or put parchment paper between each layer. If you stack them with out anything, the moisture in the candy will melt the powdered sugar and make a sticky mess!

Adapted from original recipe here.
Alternate method with whole fruit and rose water here.
Aplets and Cotlets photo from the Liberty Orchards website



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