We had to twist Darren’s arm a bit to get him to share his recipe for Pine Needle Fudge. It is as good as it sounds (i.e ridiculously delicious) and it’s great to have a batch of it on standby as a lovely, homemade gift. It’s also a good reason to go out for a crisp, wintry walk to collect pine needles…
This’ll make enough for a baking tray measuring 20 x 30cm. The key piece of information is that the fudge has to reach the right temperature to work…
- 75g pine needles, bruised using the back of a knife then tied together with butchers’ string
- 250g salted butter
- 1 tin of condensed milk (397g)
- 175ml milk, semi-skimmed or full
- 2 tablespoons of glucose syrup
- 800g caster sugar
- Line a 20cm x 30cm baking tray with parchment paper
- Put all of the ingredients into a heavy based pan and slowly bring to the boil
- Keep the mixture boiling until it reaches a temperature of 118 degrees Celsius (if you don’t have a thermometer you can use the soft ball test below)
- Remove from the heat, take out the pine needles and continue to whisk for 5 mins. The mixture will cool and become thicker (for a smooth textured fudge this mixing is vital otherwise the end result can be very crumbly!)
- Pour the mix into your tin, cool the mix at room temperature for a few hours. Once completely cooled you can cut it into portions. Darren’s top tip is to mark the portion sizes before the fudge has cooled completely. It makes it much easier to cut up!
The Soft Ball Test:
Have a bowl of ice cold water next to you while your fudge mixture is boiling. After 15 mins drop a small amount of fudge mixture into the water. It should form a ball but remain squishy. If it doesn’t form a ball, keep boiling the mixture for a little longer before testing again. If it forms a hard ball, that’s bad news and you’ll have to start all over again!!