I know my post yesterday was a lot of negativity surrounding my relationship with my Memaw, and honestly, the bad memories heavily outweigh the good. But that being said, there were of course some good times. And one of the things that seemed to stand out in my mind the most was making divinity. Memaw knew her way around the kitchen and had an amazing collection of recipes that were pretty much staples in my childhood.
Divinity was a candy we made all the time when I came to visit. Divinity is a fluffy, sugar-y candy that is really popular in the South. The mix-ins are pretty endless, but I quite like just the plain-ole fluffy white candy with a little bit of chopped pecans mixed in. I know the typical Southern way is to plop a pecan half on top, but for some reason, I remembered we always used chopped pecans. The nuts are a nice crunchy, earthy pair to the cloud-like sweetness of the candy.
This candy can be a bit tricky to make because it relies heavily on the weather. Humid, wet days are not the time to make divinity. Wait for a relatively cool, low humidity day and then you’re candy should harden up without issue. And then you can happily package it up and give it to the people that have taken such good care of your Puppyface over the past month. For example.
You’ll also need a candy thermometer. I know it is tempting to try your hand without it, but having the correct temperature is really vital to getting the candy to set up.
Classic Pecan Divinity
Adapted from Paula Deen
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 2/3 cup cold water
- 3 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
- In a saucepan with a candy thermometer over medium heat, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stir frequently until sugar has mostly dissolved.
- Without stirring, cook syrup mixture until it reaches 260° on the thermometer, or the hard ball stage.
- While the syrup cooks, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Once the syrup reaches 250°, pour a slow steady stream of syrup into the beaten egg whites while the mixer runs constantly at a high speed.
- Add the vanilla and continue to beat until mixture holds its shape, approximately 15 minutes (although this depends on the weather, too). You’re looking for the consistency of a cookie dough.
- Stir in pecans.
- Using two spoons, drop the divinity onto waxed paper. Work quickly, as the candy may harden fast if the humidity is low.
- Let cool and harden for 30-90 minutes. Store divinity in an airtight container.