Pecan Divinity Candy is a classic southern dessert. Light and fluffy, it has a melt-in-your-mouth texture and truly lives up to its name. Here’s how to make divinity candy at home.
How to Make Divinity Candy – Quick Tips
Divinity is fairly simple to make, but it can be temperamental. If it’s too humid or rainy outside, the divinity may not set up. If cooked or whipped too long, it can turn into the tastiest concrete you’ve ever seen in the bottom of your favorite mixing bowl.
Quick Divinity Tips
Use a Candy Thermometer
Use a candy thermometer. Divinity is cooked to 260 degrees or hardball stage. You reach hardball stage when a drop of the sugar syrup is dropped into a glass of water and forms a hardball.
I’ve seen practiced, experienced divinity makers beat egg whites with one hand while checking glasses of water for
Coordinate the melting of the sugar syrup with the beating of the egg whites. You want them both to get done at about the same time. Put the sugar on first over medium (not high) heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, then beat the egg whites on high speed.
As soon as the sugar reaches 260 degrees, you want to have the egg whites ready. If the sugar gets too much above 260 degrees, it will get thicker and harder, resulting in thicker and harder candy.
Once you whip the syrup into the egg whites, the mixture will start to thicken. As a general rule, it takes about 5-8 minutes to thicken. But don’t depend on it. Sometimes it thickens quicker.
Test It Out
Start testing it. As it thickens, it will start to lose its gloss. It goes from a high gloss look to a less glossy (but still slightly glossy) look. If this is your first time making divinity, it’s hard to tell when this happens. Once you’ve done it a time or two, you’ll recognize it.
If you keep whipping it until it has a matte finish, you’ll end up with a bowl of concrete. (Don’t ask me how I know…)
Don’t depend on the glossiness factor. Use this test instead. Drop a small half spoonful onto the waxed paper. If it holds its shape, it’s ready. If it pools like syrup, it’s not.
It can still be soft and mushy. It will get thicker as you add the pecans and as it starts to cool.
Once it starts to thicken, move quickly. Add the pecans, fold them in and start dropping the candy by spoonfuls onto the waxed paper. Move as quickly as you can because the candy in the bowl will begin to harden as you work.
If you’re new to candy making, the best advice is just to roll up your sleeves and dive in. If you’re first batch doesn’t quite turn out as hoped, don’t worry about it. It will still taste good. It’s only candy, after all.
How to Make Divinity Candy
Since you have to move quickly once it gets underway, it’s best if you have all the ingredients together before you start.
Mix together the sugar, salt, syrup, and water. Heat over medium heat.
Stir to dissolve the sugars, then cook without stirring until it reaches 260 degrees hardball state.
While the sugar mixture is cooking, whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
Continue whipping the egg whites on high and slowly pour the syrup over them. Blend well.
Add the vanilla.
Continue to whip the divinity until it loses its gloss and begins to hold its shape. It can take up to 5-8 minutes to thicken, but keep a close eye on it after four minutes. Once it thickens, it will get hard very quickly.
Fold in the pecans.
Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Move quickly because the candy will continue to harden in the bowl as you work. Let cool.
Divinity is simple to make, even if it can sometimes behave not so well. Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy. And after one bite, you’ll know it’s all been worth it.
It’s also a great basic candy for a variety of different toppings and flavorings. Try it chopped gummies or peppermint candy. It also works great with candied cherries or fruits.
Pecan Divinity Candy
- 2 1/3 cups sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup corn syrup
- ½ cup water
- 2 egg whites
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Mix together the sugar, salt, syrup, and water. Heat over medium heat.
- Stir to dissolve the sugars, then cook without stirring until it reaches 260 degrees hardball state.
- While the sugar mixture is cooking, whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
- Continue whipping the egg whites on high and slowly pour the syrup over them. Blend well.
- Add the vanilla.
- Continue to whip the divinity until it loses its gloss and begins to hold its shape. It can take up to 5-8 minutes to thicken, but keep a close eye on it after four minutes. Once it thickens, it will get hard very quickly.
- Fold in the pecans.
- Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Move quickly because the candy will continue to harden in the bowl as you work. Let cool.
For another great pecan candy recipe, check out our recipe for homemade pecan pralines.