I recently received a comment from reader Carol on the post, “Bastegh is the only Nanny Candy worth eating…”. She's been looking for a recipe for Roejig, a grape juice and walnut roll, and asked for help from The Armenian Kitchen in finding one.
I found a ROEJIG recipe in the Treasured Armenian Recipes cookbook published by the Detroit Women’s Chapter of the AGBU (Armenian General Benevolent Union).
This cookbook was originally copyrighted in 1949; my copy came from the 17th printing in 1968. It's a wonderful resource -- and it's still available. (Contact the AGBU bookstore for information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org)
I must warn you: this recipe takes time and plenty of patience. Roll up your sleeves, and Good Luck!
ROEJIG -or- Sweet Soujouk
3 quarts white grape juice (or other fruit juice)
3 cups flour (Gold Medal)
3 cups sugar
1 cup cornstarch
Walnuts in shells
Blend flour, sugar and cornstarch together, then add juice and mix well until smooth.
Soak walnuts in water for ½ hour, then shell. Try to get the nuts out in complete halves. Take a strong string with a big needle to string the half nuts only. The first two half nuts should come back to back in the middle of the string. Then string the rest of the nuts in the same position as each of the first two. Tie the ends of string to a stick leaving a space of 3 inches between them in order to keep the row of nuts apart and also to hang conveniently. Nuts should be facing upwards so the thickened grape juice clings on.
Cook half the amount of the grape juice until thick. Dip the strung nuts into this juice several times then hang to dry overnight. Cook the remaining juice the second day, dip the nuts several times and hang to dry overnight. Takes several days to dry well. When dry, cut any desired length and roll in powdered sugar.
Cut round slices for eating. Keep in covered jars.