My mom made Melt-In-Your-Mouth Divinity that remains a sweet reminder of my Christmases past. Every holiday since as far back as I remember divinity showed up on the table with other holiday specialties. She was indeed the divinity master who could whip up a batch faster than I can say, “making delicate, cloud-like mounds that melt on my tongue is a skill I didn’t inherit from my mother.” What I did learn from Mom was never try making the fluffy white food of the gods on a rainy day. “If the humidity is high you’ll end up with a pan full of sweet goop,” she used to say.
Well-made divinity should have a thin, crisp outer coating with an ever so slight and surprisingly moist center. The satisfying crunch of tiny walnut pieces at the end help to clear the palate for the next heavenly nibble…
1-cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Beat until stiff:
3 egg whites
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
Put the 1-cup sugar, 1/2 cup water and cream of tartar into a saucepan; stir to blend, and then boil rapidly without stirring to 240°F. (medium ball stage). Immediately remove from the heat. Meanwhile, beat egg whites until stiff; set aside.
In another saucepan, combine the 2 cups sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/4 cup water; set aside. When the first mixture is done, place the second mixture over the heat and boil with occasional stirring until syrup reaches 280°F. (medium crack stage).
Meanwhile, pour the first syrup (240°F.), while still hot, over beaten egg whites, adding slowly and beating continuously until stiff and smooth. Set aside until second syrup has reached desired temperature. Cool a minute or two, then pour it slowly over first mixture (which has been combined with the egg whites), continuing to beat until smooth and so stiff it is hard to handle.
Stir in flavoring and nuts, turn into buttered pan, and press out smooth or drop onto waxed paper in separate mounds.
Yield: Approximately 2 pounds