There are several gumdrop recipes posted on-line, and I settled on one from the Better Homes and Garden’s website which uses pectin as the gelling agent and includes corn syrup which helps prevent crystallization.
Flavored oil can be added to enhance the taste of these little treats, and I chose green apple. You can use any oil or extract you like. You may even want to divide up your batch and use three different flavorings. You can keep your candy clear and roll them in colored sugar or you can color your candy and roll them in plain white granulated sugar. I used bright red and blue sanding sugar and really love how vibrant the stars look.
Both kids and adults will enjoy these sweet little patriotic treats. I know I sure have!
Star Spangled Gumdrops – Red, White, and Blue Gumdrops
(makes about 1 1/4 pounds, 40-50 stars) Recipe Adapted from BHG
about 1 teaspoon butter
3/4 cup water
1 (1.75 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin (original not low or no sugar pectin)*
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
flavored oil or extract
optional, food coloring
*NOTE: You want pectin that is white or clear looking. I used Sure-Jell for this recipe. Pectin made my Ball has a brown hue to it, so I don’t suggest it for this project.
optional, food handling glove to help with oiling your molds
2 or 3 quart saucepan
glass bowl with spout or a glass mixing bowl
Butter the sides of a heavy 1-1/2 or 2 quart saucepan. Set aside.
In another 2 or 3 quart saucepan combine water, pectin, and baking soda. Mixture will be foamy. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.
Once your pot of boiling corn syrup/sugar reaches 280 degrees remove it from the heat or turn off your gas. Slowly and VERY CAREFULLY drizzle in the hot pectin, stirring slowly yet constantly. You DO NOT want to splash any of this hot boiling sugar on your hands. Once all the pectin has been poured into the saucepan, return it to medium-high heat and cook it for one more minute, then remove from heat and pour into a glass bowl, with a spout, preferably. This stops it from continuing to cook.
To flavor your gumdrops, add some flavored oil or extract, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon, if flavoring the whole batch. To check if you like the flavor, fill a glass with ice water, take a small spoonful of your hot gumdrop mixture and set the spoon in the ice water. Let it set for at least 30 seconds. Remove it and touch it to make sure it is cool. Return to water, if too hot. Taste it. Adjust your flavoring accordingly.
Optional: You can divided your batch and use various flavorings, if you prefer. You can also add coloring now if you’d like. Grocery store variety food coloring will work fine. I left mine clear and used colored sugars and was very happy with the result.
Carefully pour into the silicone mold, filling each cavity to the top. Let sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours for best results. I pulled a few stars out after just a few hours, and they looked like stars, but flattened out a bit. Those left in the mold overnight, looked perfect when removed the next morning. You can see the blue star second from the right below was pulled out too soon.
To remove your gumdrops from the silicone molds, press firmly all around one of the stars then peel the candy out of the mold. Coat it in colored sanding sugar or granulated sugar. Let them sit at room temperature for about an hour before packaging.
Package in festive Fourth of July pails, boxes or bags or simply set them in a candy dish and enjoy.
Products used to make this recipe that are available on Amazon.com.