Rojik is a traditional Armenian candy made from walnuts strung on long strings and thickly coated in fruit syrup.
Ingredients3 pounds whole walnuts (or 6 cups shelled walnut halves) Cotton crochet thread 4 quarts white grape or other fruit juice 3 cups granulated sugar 1 cup cornstarch 3 cups all-purpose flour Powdered sugar
- Working with 1 pound at a time, soak the walnuts in water for 30 minutes, and shell by breaking open with a hammer to try to remove the nutmeats in complete halves. (If you buy shelled walnut halves, you will still need to soak them so they can be easily pierced with a needle without breaking.)
- Cut 72-inch strands of thread and thread on a heavy needle.
- Double the thread and knot the ends.
- Pierce the walnuts in the center and thread 12 inches of them, flat side up, on the string.
- Leave a gap of about three inches and then thread another 12 inches of nuts facing in the opposite direction, and knot the end.
- Continue threading until you’ve used up the nuts.
- Tie the strings of nuts onto sticks at the center gap, so the flat sides are facing upward.
- This helps the syrup cling to the nuts.
- In a large stockpot, combine the half the juice and half the granulated sugar and simmer over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- In an electric mixer, blend half the cornstarch and half the flour together, then add 1 cup of the juice mixture and beat until smooth.
- Slowly pour back into the stockpot, stirring constantly, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to simmering and cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick. Keep warm.
- Dip the strings of nuts into the mixture several times, at intervals, until well coated.
- Allow to the strings to dry to the touch between dips.
- Then hang to dry overnight.
- The next day, make another batch of the syrup and dip the nuts again.
- The finished rojik should be 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter.
- Hang until thoroughly dried, several days.
- When dry, cut into manageable lengths and roll in powdered sugar. Store airtight.
- Slice with a sharp knife into 1/4-inch rounds for serving.
- Makes about 3 pounds.