Mama's Old Fashioned Divinity!

 
 
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.  My mother has made this ever since I can remember. There is one thing I do remember Mama always saying before the day we would be making Divinity and that was "If it isn't raining or looking like rain tomorrow, we will make Divinity".   She still says that anytime we talk about making it.  She is absolutely right about that also.  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.   Mama 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.


Mama's Old Fashioned Divinity


 
 


37 comments:

  1. When is the humidity less than 50% in MS and AL? Seriously, a friend that makes great divinity just turns on the AC and let's it run full out regardless of how cold it is outside! They say it always works!

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  2. 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...lol. When humidity is very high it takes reducing the indoor temperature drastically to get the humidity below 50% indoors. Of course, all I can do is give advice that has been given to me for years and for those who are interested they can take it...or not.

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    1. Our mothers would get along well, Kathy. I have never made divinity myself, but often think of Mom making it on clear, Florida winter days. You have inspired me to make it this year with my granddaughters. I'll let you know how it goes.

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    2. My granny always made it on clear winter days and I live in central Alabama!

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  3. I wonder if there can be variations to this recipe...and have some different flavored divinity, like chocolate or something like that....

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  4. Amber, there are variations on the flavors. I have seen chocolate divinity and some use flavored gelatin to make strawberry or cherry and such.

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  5. I am hoping someone can give me some advice. I just tried to make this, but it's not setting up properly.

    It's not losing it's gloss, and when I spoon it onto the wax paper, it pools out into discs.

    I used a candy thermometer and cooked the sugar to the soft ball stage. I don't have a stand mixer and just used my hand mixer.

    Any help/suggestions? TIA!

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    1. My mom says you have to use cane sugar not beet sugar for divinity to set up properly.

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    2. Beet sugar will not caramelize, it burns and turn dark, but not caramel. Cane sugar is more expensive, but my mother has always said to buy the best sugar you can when making candy, so that is probably why...the cheaper sugar might be beet. Otherwise, beet sugar tastes pretty much the same.

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    3. Sounds like you need to beat it longer

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  6. I can't wait to make this! I want to do it tomorrow but we'll have to see about the weather. it's drizzling right now but supposed to clear up tomorrow. I want to make marmalade as well but I don't make jam or jelly when the humidity is very high because it won't set up right. May be Sunday before I get it all done but I'm going to make it!!

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  7. Stephanie, did it ever set up? It sounds like it didn't get to a high enough temperature or it was too humid when you made it or you didn't beat it long enough once you added the syrup to the egg whites. It's not an easy candy to make. Did you use the unflavored gelatin? Sometime it's a little loose when you first start dropping it and then it tightens up as it dries.

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  8. can i pin this to pinterest?

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  9. Thank you for posting this! ... I had heard about this from my southern friends but have never actually had the chance to try this ... will this year! Thanks again!

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  10. Can you tell us how many this will make and whether you drop by teaspoons or tablespoons ?? Trying to plan on the shopping for ingredients so I can make this for our Christmas gift baskets!

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  11. Great addition to any gathering..

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  12. Has anyone tried using Splenda for Baking instead of sugar? My mother-in-law loves divinity, but is diabetic. I know somethings have to have the sugar to set it up right....
    Thanks!

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  13. You can use Splenda in cakes and cookie and things. In this Divinity, I am not sure it would work though. Also, you have to use the corn syrup which you can't substitute.

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  14. Depending on the size you make these, you should get about 36 pieces.

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  15. I've used agave syrup with good results in pecan pie...it might work for divinity, not sure..would be a good experiment though.

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  16. Well i am not anonymous..I am Amy Watson and I comment on your FB page a lot...I love all your recipes...I am now inspired to give Divinity a try again after not making it in years.....Have you ever heard of putting chopped pecans in Divinity??? Seems like I remember it from being a kid...Really fine pecans.....Your the BEST..Sweet Tea and Cornbread.......

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    1. I make it each year using finely ground or chopped pecans inside it and I don't use the gelatin or baking powder; in fact I'd never heard of using them but I might try it just to see if there is much difference.

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    2. also try it with different extracts than vanilla and you can get some excellent results in taste

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  17. Thank you so much, Amy. Yes, some folks do add the chopped pecans to divinity. My mother has done that years ago, but now she just puts the nut on top. This is my son's favorite candy and he doesn't eat pecans, so that is why she doesn't put them in the actual candy. You know how Nanas spoil the grandchildren...lol.

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  18. I really need to make some of this! I love Divinity! With nuts, without, with cherries. Anyway! I have even eaten it when they syrup was a might scorched. LOL Needless to say, we had to put it in the freezer to keep it's shape.

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  19. I've never heard of this, therefore have never tasted it. Can anyone describe what it tastes like?

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  20. Savana, diviniry is sort of like a denser and sweeter marshmallow or that is the closest thing I can think of. Have you ever had a pecan log? It's like what is in the center of one of those.

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  21. I have made divinity many times from a recipe that my mother had some 60 years ago, but it did not require Knox gelatin. I live in Florida, as did my mom, and we never had any problems with it "setting".

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  22. My recipe calls for cooking the syrup to 255 degrees, no baking powder and no gelatin. It requires a long beating time. When it is almost set I also add a cup of finely chopped, toasted pecans. (Couldn't do it without the trusty old Kitchen-Aid.) Has 4 cups sugar, 1 cup of corn syrup and 1/2 cup of water. Never fails me.

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    1. Can you put entire recipe pls thanks Dena

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  23. I make this with marshmallow cream, sugar, water and flavoring and salt, chopped pecans. Makes wonderful divinity

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  24. The best I've ever had ,I bought at ketners handcraft fair in east tn. Black walnuts instead of pecans is great!!!

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  25. nev er heard of using baking powder,knox gelatin either.

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  26. My Mother and Grandmother made it and I am 70 years old. We did not use the Knox gelatin or baking powder. Put chopped nuts in it. Yes you have to beat it a long time and a mixer does help but you can burn up a mixer if you use it too long., If syrup scorches just add some green or red food coloring to make it christmas colors instead of yellowish. Also you have to add the syrup to the egg whits very slowly to keep from cooking the egg whites. . Marshallow cream divinity does not come close to being as good as this.

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  27. I make divinity every year at Christmastime, and I have never used baking powder or Knox gelatin! I also live in south Mississippi and as long as it's cold outside or I have my AC on, it always turns out!!

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    1. Can you post your recipe. Not super crazy about my moms. Wish I has mawmaws I grew up in Mobile thx Dena

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  28. Thank you for sharing. This is my husband's favorite candy but I couldn't find a good recipe. I live in Ga where humidity loves to reside. Monsoon season should be over soon. Can't wait to try this.

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