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You knew it was coming. How could a Narnia menu end with anything else? I can’t be the only person who immediately thinks of the White Witch when I hear the words “Turkish delight.”

Traditionally, rose is the most common Turkish delight flavor, but I tend to think flower-flavored things taste like perfume (jasmine tea is another thing that makes me go blech). So instead of going the traditional route, I decided to make this lemon Turkish delight from Sprinkle Bakes. The result was light, fragrant, and yummy.

P.S. This recipe needs 24 hours to set.

Lemon Turkish Delight

The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle on to the snow, and instantly there appeared a round box, tied with green silk ribbon, which, when opened, turned out to contain several pounds of the best Turkish Delight. Each piece was sweet and light to the very centre and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious.
— The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

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INGREDIENTS:

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  • 2 1/2 cups cold water
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch, plus 1/2 cup for dusting
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp lemon extract
  • 2 drops yellow liquid food coloring
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • Makes about 30 pieces

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a 4 quart microwave save dish (I recommend Pyrex), whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth.

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    It will basically look like milk.

  2. Microwave the mixture for 2 minutes and whisk again. Microwave again for 2-3 minutes or until there’s about a 1/2 cup of liquid left and the rest has become a white paste. For me, at the 2 minute mark there was still a good amount of liquid, and some hunks of waxy material—that’s about the half way point. For me, 3 minutes was exactly right to get a pasty texture.

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    If you overcook it, portions near the corner of the pan will solidify and stick to the bottom. If this happens, you can still continue the recipe, but don’t try to whisk the solidified parts into the rest of the candy batter. Instead, pour the still liquified batter into a large bowl. Completely clean and dry your Pyrex pan. Pour the candy batter back into the pan through a strainer. Continue the recipe as usual.

  3. Whisk until smooth. You will have a texture like glue but a little waxier. Whisk in the sugar and corn syrup.

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    The sugar will immediately make the batter more gray and liquid-y, with the texture of a thick milkshake.

  4. Microwave the mixture for 5 minutes and whisk again. The color and texture will be basically the same, but slightly thickened.
  5. Microwave for another 5 minutes. Aaaaand….you guessed it: whisk again until smooth. The mixture will be lumpy and bubbly when you first take it out. Whisking should make it smooth, gloopy, and translucent.
  6. Microwave for ANOTHER 5 minutes (last 5 minute round, I promise). Whisk in your extract and food coloring until the mixture is smooth and evenly yellow.
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  7. Microwave for 3 minutes. Whisk until smooth. This is the point where a lot depends on your microwave and the proportions of your pan. If the mixture has become super thick, a large amount gets caught in the balloon of the whisk, and it doesn’t ooze back into an area if you whisk it into the middle, then you’re done microwaving. If not, keep microwaving at 3 minute intervals until you achieve the desired consistency. I had to microwave it 4 extra times, 3 minutes each (so don’t be surprised if you have to do it several times). After whisking at the end of round 3, it had a texture like really thick lemon meringue. At the end of round 4, it was much denser and wanted to stay all gathered together in a clump in the center of the pan, rather than ooze back to the corners.
  8. Spray an 8×8 or standard loaf pan with mildly flavored cooking spray (canola or vegetable sprays are fine). Also spray the back of a spoon. Scrap the candy batter into the pan and use the back of the spoon to spread it evenly.

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    By this point the candy batter should not be at pouring consistency. If should be thick enough that you can gather it all into one mass with a spatula and scrape it straight into the sprayed pan. You will need to press with the spoon a little bit to get it to spread all the way to the corner of the pan. If it is still liquid-y enough that it pours or spreads easily without a spoon, the batter’s not done yet. Put it back in the Pyrex pan and let it cook for another 3 minutes.

  9. Let the candy batter sit at room temperature for about 2 hours or until firm enough to handle without losing its shape.
  10. Turn the candy out of the pan onto a cutting board lightly dusted with cornstarch. Spray the blade of a knife or kitchen scissors with cooking spray and cut the candy into 1″ squares.
  11. Lay a sheet of wax paper on the bottom of a wide, shallow storage dish and gently place the Turkish delight pieces on top of the paper in a single layer. Loosely cover the top of the container with plastic wrap and allow the candy to set for 24 hours.
  12. When the candy has set and you are ready to serve, mix your 1/2 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a large bowl, taking care to break up the clumps of cornstarch with your fingers. Gently toss the candies in the powder mix, dusting off any excess.
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  13. If you’d like to store any extras, pour your extra powder mix into the storage dish and place the candies on top of the powder layer. Tightly cover the dish with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  14. Serve to any Sons of Adam or Daughters of Eve you find wandering through Narnia’s winter woodland! :)
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I’ve been saving this recipe for almost a year now. Scotch eggs have always sounded like such a fun recipe to try, and when I found out they were a favorite traveling snack of the dwarves of Narnia, they secured their place as the side dish in this menu. I’ve said before how much I love dwarves, and I can see why they love scotch eggs so much. These eggs are hearty with just a touch of spice—a truly great snack. :)

P.S. I found the recipe at Food Adventures in Fiction.

The Dwarves’ Scotch Eggs

“Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.”
— C.S. Lewis

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INGREDIENTS:

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  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 16 oz Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 4-6 cups vegetable oil (depends on the size of your pot)
  • Makes 8 scotch eggs

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Hard boil your eggs using any method you choose (I used this method with 1/2 tsp baking soda added to the water).
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  2. While you wait for your eggs, place your sausage in a large bowl and break it up into bits with your fingers. In a small bowl, lightly beat your extra egg. In another small bowl, stir together your bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Line up your bowls into an assembly line.

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    I’ve found the best way to remove a sausage from its casing is to give the link a few good twists in the middle and push the meat out the ends (if the ends aren’t already open, you might need to slit them with a knife).

  3. When your eggs are cool, peel them. For each egg, take a palmful of sausage and flatten it out on your hand. Encase the egg in a thin layer of sausage, creating a sausage ball. One at a time, dip the sausage balls in the beaten egg and flip them once or twice until completely coated. Finally, roll each sausage ball in the bread crumbs.

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  4. Heat your oil on medium heat in a large pot. When the oil is hot, fry the scotch eggs two at a time. How long your scotch eggs need to cook will depend heavily on the thickness of the sausage layer. I recommend slitting the first batch with a knife to check doneness after cooking for 3 minutes on each side. If the sausage is still pink, put them back in the pot until the sausage is fully brown. Adjust your cook time for the remaining batches accordingly.
  5. Set your finished scotch eggs on a plate lined with a paper towel and let them sit for 5 minutes.
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  6. Serve warm to your favorite Narnian dwarves! :)

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    If you’re reheating these in the microwave, poke them with a fork in a few spots, making sure to insert the fork deep enough that you pierce the egg. An unpierced egg can store a lot of pressure after being microwaved and runs the risk of exploding…we may or may not have learned this the hard way.


Finding a suitable entree for our Narnia menu was surprisingly difficult. Sure, Lucy had three kinds of toast with Tumnus, but that’s not really an entree, is it? The Pevensies ate marmalade roll with the Beavers, but that’s almost a dessert (or at best a breakfast). I was starting to feel like I’d exhausted my options when I finally remembered the ham sandwiches the Pevensies eat after meeting Father Christmas. Sure, it’s simple fare, but this is Narnia—everything’s a bit more special here. Plus, Father Christmas can do magic, so I like to think they settled for more than cold meat on bread. These Fancy Ham Sandwiches are my own recipe—authentic Italian prosciutto with two kinds of bread, sweet cream cheese, and colorful pesto!

 

Fancy Ham Sandwiches

“So down the steep bank they went and back to the cave, and Mr Beaver cut some of the bread and ham into sandwiches and Mrs Beaver poured out the tea and everyone enjoyed themselves. But long before they had finished enjoying themselves Mr Beaver said, ‘Time to be moving on now.'”
— The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

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INGREDIENTS:

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  • 4 slices soft bread (I used oatmeal bread and pumpernickel)
  • 4-6 tbsp pesto (I highly recommend homemade. I used this recipe, which is pretty easy)
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • 1-2 oz cream cheese
  • Makes 4 sandwiches

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Roll both sides of each bread slice flat with a rolling pin. With a sharp, clean knife, trim away the crust.
  2. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese over one side of each slice, making sure to coat the bread right up to the edges.

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    The cream cheese serves two purposes: it mellows out the saltiness of the prosciutto and acts as a seal to prevent the pesto from soaking into the bread. I recommend spreading on one super thin layer to create the seal, then spread on another layer just thick enough that you can’t see the texture of the bread anymore.

  3. Starting from a short end, spread on a thin layer of pesto, but stop when you get 1/2″ away from the other short end. Add your prosciutto, trimming it if necessary to prevent it from extending beyond the pesto. When you’re finished, you should have all your toppings in place, with a 1/2″ wide line of exposed cream cheese down one side.
  4. Starting from the side opposite the cream cheese line, roll your bread tightly enough for the spiral to keep its form but not so tight that you tear the bread. Trim away a bit from each end to better showcase the fillings.

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    The line of cream cheese will act as an adhesive to keep your spiral stuck together after you roll.

  5. You’re all done! The sandwiches can start to dehydrate really quickly, so if you’re not going to serve them right away, roll them tightly in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container in the fridge. You can store them for one up to one day.
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  6. Serve with Apple of Life bites while lunching with Father Christmas in Narnia! :)

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    These were really easy; each sandwich only took about 3 minutes to construct. And the unique flavor profile was lots of fun! I don’t normally like rye bread, but I think the pumpernickel complimented the other ingredients especially well here.

 

Alison’s Wonderland Recipes is one year old today!

It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this for a whole year now. It feels like just last weekend I was cleaning the kitchen floor and thought, “You know what would be fun? A food AND book blog.”

Here we are a year later, with 51 recipes and 12 books under our belt. Believe it or not, this was my “experiment” year—just giving blogging a try to see if I liked it. I guess it’s a good sign that I forgot to spend the last few months deciding if I wanted to commit to blogging long term…I was too busy (and excited) picking out our 2015 books!

I’m itching to get started with this year’s new material. Our current Chronicles of Narnia menu is proving to be lots of fun, but I’m looking to expand my horizons and include more modern classics (even some movies). I’m also planning lots of site improvements this year, including:

  • A custom homepage banner with logo
  • More dramatic pictures and action shots
  • An archive for hint posts and images added to archive listings
  • More Pop Culture Corner posts and original recipes!

Thanks for all your support over the past year—on to Year Two! What changes or new material would YOU like to see?

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Want to relive our blog’s babyhood? Feel free to scroll through our very first menu.

 

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Happy New Year, Wonderlanders! And welcome to our very first 2015 Book of the Month…the Chronicles of Narnia! Yes, it’s technically a series, but each book in the series offers so much that I didn’t want to focus on just one.

We’re starting the menu with a tribute to The Magician’s Nephew. Since the Apple of Life plays such a key role in the story (and leads to the construction of the famous wardrobe), I decided to make these Apple of Life Bites as our appetizer. They combine sweet-tart apples, smokey bacon, toasted walnuts, and bitter blue cheese to make a well-rounded dish. Plus, the recipe was developed by Carla Hall, so you know it’s gotta be good. :)

Apple of Life Bites

“He knew which was the right tree at once, partly because it stood in the very centre and partly because the great silvery apples with which it was loaded shone so and cast a light of their own down on the shadowy places where the sunlight did not reach. He walked straight across to it, picked an apple, and put it in the breast pocket of his Norfolk jacket. But he couldn’t help looking at it and smelling it before he put it away.”
— The Magician’s Nephew

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INGREDIENTS:

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  • 1-2 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 8 oz  block cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tbsp half and half, divided
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 10 pieces bacon
  • Makes approximately 30 bites

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Core one apple and cut it in half. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator (we’ll get it later). Dice the other half into 1/4″ pieces.
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  2. Add your blue cheese, cream cheese, half and half, and pepper to a food processor. Process for about 2 minutes or until the cream cheese is complete smooth (the blue cheese will remain in small clumps). You might need to stop and scrape the bowl a few time before you reach the desired consistency.
  3. Transfer the cheese mix to a large bowl. Stir in your apple bits and walnuts. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 day. After a half hour, the blue cheese breaks down a little bit, incorporating its flavors through the whole mix. After one day though, the apples will start to brown.
  4. About 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve, fry up your bacon and cut it into thirds.
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  5. Get out your reserved apple half and trim off the brown end, if necessary. Slice the apple into 30 very thin slices (about 1/8″ thick). How many you get will depend on the size of your apple, so you might need to break out a second apple to get the full 30 slices.
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  6. On half the slices, place one 1/3 piece of bacon and one heaping spoonful of cheese mix. Top with the remaining apple slices.
  7. Serve at a feast celebrating the creation of a magical country. :)

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    The Mister isn’t normally a fan of blue cheese, but he says these are “blue cheese done right!” And I have to agree–the balance of flavors is just right!

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