Making your own hard candy can seem like a difficult task for those who have never done it, and nightmares of burnt fingers and sticky counters haunt many home chefs. However, making hard candy is within reach of anyone willing to put in a little bit of time and effort and pay attention to detail. Making your own hard candy not only allows you to control the flavours, making potentially new and unique flavour combinations, but it also lets you control the ingredients, allowing for more natural candy.
Combine the water, corn syrup and sugar in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting top.
Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon.
Put a candy thermometer into the pan and continue heating over medium heat until the contents of the pan reach 152 degrees Celsius. Remove the pan from heat and set it aside to rest until for 10 minutes.
Add the fruit juice slowly, stirring the whole time with a wooden spoon.
Pour the mixture onto a baking tray with heavy sidewalls and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Spread icing sugar over a clean work surface. Break the candy into small pieces and gently roll each piece in the icing sugar. This will help to keep them from sticking together when stored.
You can add food colouring or candy colouring to the candy along with the fruit juice concentrate if desired. The amount you add will depend on the depth of colour you wish to make. Add colour slowly to avoid candy that is darker than desired.
If you are worried about burning your hands, wear heavy oven gloves when pouring the liquid candy into the baking tray.