Reminiscent of Victorian “sugarplums,” this candy of mixed fruits and nuts is very popular in Charleston. It is excellent for tea. It’s necessary to weigh the ingredients, or the recipe simply won’t work. You will need an accurate candy thermometer (test your thermometer in boiling water—212°—and adjust accordingly). The recipe is Mark Gray’s.


  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • ½ pound honey
  • ½ pound maple syrup
  • ¼ pound light corn syrup
  • ¾ pound light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 ounces granulated sugar
  • 6 ounces dried apricots, chopped
  • 6 ounces pitted dates, chopped
  • ¼ pound light or dark raisins
  • 2 ounces orange peel or orange chunk marmalade
  • 2 ounces rolled oats
  • 2 ounces dried peaches, chopped
  • ¼ pound whole almonds, roasted
  • ¼ pound pecans, roasted
  • ¼ pound English walnuts
  • ¼ pound hazelnuts (filberts), blanched and roasted


In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, honey, maple syrup, light corn syrup, brown sugar, and granulated sugar, stirring only in the beginning stages of cooking. Heat to 249-250°.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix in well, then place in a parchment-lined sheet pan (an inch-deep 12- by 17-inch pan) and allow to seize for 8 hours or overnight. Cut into little squares. Store in airtight containers with wax paper between layers. Keeps for a month or more.