We found this deliciously springy-but-not-too-sticky marshmallow recipe from Epicurious (via Smitten Kitchen) last year, and after getting comfortable with the basic recipe we decided to see how we could put some not so traditional flavors into our candy. In this case, we went for hard cider. The end result is a slightly apply and tart marshmallow with a little hint of the yeastiness that you get from hard cider. We added the cider everywhere we could – to the hot sugar syrup and as a soak for the gelatin. I’m pretty sure that between boiling the sugar syrup to 240 degrees, and pouring that over the bloomed gelatin, most of the alcohol cooked out. But I will say they do have the slightest taste of alcohol, so who knows. Either way, they’re pretty darn good.
The marshmallow recipe is fairly easy and foolproof, as long as you resist every single urge to touch the mixture. Trust me. As tempting as it is to try and scrape the last little bit of marshmallow off the beaters or your spoon – don’t do it. This stuff is sticky and you will regret it big time. Whatever mess you do end up making, though, will clean up really easily with warm water.
That said, let’s get started…
Hard Cider Marshmallows – makes 96 1-inch marshmallows (this recipe can be easily halved, too)
Adapted from Epicurious
2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons (about 4 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cup cold flat hard cider, divided*
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
About 1 c. powdered sugar
Spray the bottom and sides of a 9×13 pan with cooking spray or vegetable oil, and dust evenly with powdered sugar.
Pour 1/2 cup of the flat cider into a large bowl, and evenly sprinkle the gelatin over the top. You can gently press the gelatin into the cider to make sure it all gets softened
Meanwhile, mix the remaining cup of cider with the sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Heat over low, stirring every once in a while, until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium/medium high and simmer until the mixture cooks down and the temperature registers at 240 (make very sure that it’s at 240 – not hot enough and you will get weepy marshmallows).
Pour the hot syrup over your gelatin/cider mixture, and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Now it’s time to make some magic happen. Beat the hot syrup and gelatin on high speed with a hand mixer for about 10 minutes (less if you have a stand mixer), until it is white and thick and has about tripled in size (mine doesn’t always triple, but it should at least increase and look thick and fluffy).
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with clean beaters until thick peaks form. Add the whipped egg whites to the sugar and gelatin mixture and beat on low until it is evenly combined. Pour the mixture into your prepared pan (and remember not to worry about completely scraping the bowl clean), and dust the top evenly with powdered sugar. Refrigerate the marshmallow at least 3 hours, until it has set up and is no longer sticky.
When you’re ready, turn the marshmallow out of the pan and cut it into 1″ squares. If you’re having trouble cutting it, you could try moistening the knife blade with a damp paper towel. Roll the marshmallows in a light coating of powdered sugar, and store them at room temperature or in the fridge. I don’t recommend keeping them in an air-tight container (a paper bag would probably be great), because moisture tends to build up and make them not-so-lovely.
*To de-carbonate your cider, pour it into a wide-mouthed container and let it sit for a few hours, until it is flat. To hurry up the process, whisking it quickly for a couple minutes should do the trick.