Old-Fashioned Barley Sugar

The original, simple, but delicious candy of our grandmother's day.

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lemon
  • Pinch cream of tartar

Pare zest from a lemon and set aside. Bring sugar and water to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add lemon zest and cream of tartar. Cook to soft-ball stage (238º F). Remove lemon zest and add strained juice of 1 lemon. Continue to cook to hard crack stage (310º F), stirring frequently (syrup should be a light straw color). Pour into molds to make clear toys or suckers. (Or, pour onto well-buttered cookie sheet, cool until candy begins to set, then cut into 1" by 2" strips. When cool enough to handle, twist each strip). Store in airtight containers.