Grandma's Fudge: A Confusion of Recipes

Among aficionados and this scattered family, Grandma Gladys' fudge is renowned for (a) delightful flavour and consistency (b) being difficult to get right yourself. She seemed to make it differently every time, paying scant attention to quantities, temperatures, and timings -- yet it came out the same, and delicious, every time.

I have found three conflicting recipes (below). Volunteers required: report back your results to Tim

Recipe 1: Walnut fudge

  1. Dissolve the sugar in the water in a cooking pot
  2. Add the condensed milk and butter, and begin heating
  3. When the butter has melted, bring the mixture to the boil
  4. Boil steadily for 1 hour, stirring continuously to prevent burning
  5. Remove from the heat and add the chopped walnuts
  6. Beat until the fudge is thick and creamy
  7. Pour into a well-greased tin
  8. Mark into squares. Cut when cold & set

Note: this recipe relies on timing (very unreliable). In all fudge-making, you must test the mixture while it is still boiling. You can either use a sugar thermometer, which will tell you if the mixture has boiled off enough water to reach the right temperature (too low, and it never sets; too high, and you'll have toffee), or you can try the cold water drop test. Using a wooden spoon, allow one drop of the mixture to fall into a saucer of cold water. Wait a minute. If the ball starts to disintegrate, keep boiling the mixture. If the ball is firm but squashable, that's perfect. If the ball is hard, stop boiling at once. Warning: this is not an exact science.

The other recipes were collected from her on other occasions, and involve different quantities & ingredients. Who knows what is right?

Recipe 2

Recipe 3