Divinity is a southern confection that like so many other old southern confections is just about becoming extinct as a homemade candy.
It’s an airy, sweet and yummy candy that is a little temperamental and at times difficult to make.
Divinity is so light and full of sugar that if the humidity is over 50%, it will not set up and ‘dry’, because it just absorbs that moisture in the air.
Actually, it is best to not make several homemade candies when it is humid or rainy out. That is not just an old wives tale.
Grandma has included a secret ingredient in this recipe to make this divinity ‘almost’ fail proof… if you follow the directions, but you still need to make it on a clear day.
Here is what you will need:
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 egg whites
1 tsp. baking powder
1 pkg. unflavored Knox gelatin (this will help guarantee they set up and won’t affect the taste at all)
Pecan halves or maraschino cherries
Place sugar, salt, syrup, and water together in a heavy saucepan on medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook until this reaches a soft ball stage.
Use a candy thermometer to determine this. You will need to be stirring this frequently while it comes up to this temperature.
Place egg whites and baking powder in a mixing bowl and beat until they peak, like you would for meringue.
When the syrup comes to soft ball stage or about 240 degrees on your candy thermometer, it is ready to beat into the egg whites.
First, add the package of Knox gelatin to the egg whites, then slowly pour the hot syrup in beating it constantly the whole time. Beat this until it loses it’s gloss or about 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the vanilla in right at the end.
If you have a stand mixer, it makes this whole process much easier. If not, you might want to enlist a helper to make it.
Drop by teaspoonful onto greased wax paper. You have to work quickly with this or it will start to set up too much before you get them all dropped.
If you are doing this by yourself, you can spread this in a pan and after it sets up you can cut it into squares.
You can dress these up by pressing a half pecan in each piece or a maraschino cherry looks pretty also.
You can also make this in different festive colors by just adding a drop or two of food coloring.
These will dry and set up fairly quickly and then they can be stored in an airtight container or tin.
Note: Humidity in the winter time is probably less than you think in the south. This is why you don’t make divinity in the summer though.
When humidity is very high it takes reducing the indoor temperature drastically to get the humidity below 50% indoors.