Sassy Sassafras Recipes
© 2004 Angela Gillaspie
Got a hankerin' for some sassafras? Try these recipes and don't forget that you can freeze and reuse the roots several times.
Boil sassafras roots for 30 minutes and then strain. Measure 2 cups of the sassafras tea into a large saucepan. Add pectin and just barely bring to a boil. Add honey and sassafras root bark that has been grated to a fine powder. Simmer for 6 minutes. Put into sterilized glasses. For pints, process them in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, and for half-pints, process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 ¼ cups light corn syrup
1 tablespoons butter
1 well-buttered large glass baking dish or cookie sheet, with a rim of ½ inch or more
Lightly scrub roots in cold water to remove any residual dirt, then peel the bark off the root pieces with a knife or carrot peeler. Bring the water to a low boil and (optional: throw the peeled roots in and simmer them for awhile to give the water a little preliminary flavor and color boost).
In the meantime, put the peeled root bark in a food processor and pulverize it until the root is ground up quite fine. You should have at least 1/2 cup of pulverized bark pieces when you're done (less will result in a less intense flavor in the candy).
Pull out root pieces (if any) from the simmering water and add the remaining ingredients to the liquid. Boil at high temperature and get a candy thermometer ready. When the boiling liquid approaches a temperature of between 290-300 degrees, stir in the pulverized root bark and mix well. The mixture will sizzle and drop in temperature about 20-30 degrees as the moisture in the root bark boils off.
When the temperature of the mixture gets back up to between 300-310 degrees (the "hard crack" stage), remove from the heat and then pour it out into the baking dish or cookie sheet and spread evenly. As the candy begins to solidify, you may want to score its surface with a knife to help you break it into uniform pieces later. Store whatever you don't eat right away in tightly sealed glass jars in a cool place, and it should retain its flavor and hardness for a year or so.