Saturday, April 14, 2012

Candied (Crystallized) Ginger

I have mentioned before how much I love ginger. Since my Ginger Peach Carrot Muffins only used a small section of the huge ginger root I bought at the grocery store, I have been looking for something else to do with it.  I have been attempting to gather the ingredients to make ginger taffy and ginger beer--I have to find glycerine for the candy and get some sterile bottles for the ginger beer--but have been un successful so far. I decided to use all of the remaining ginger to make candied or crystallized ginger. I found a recipe online but it had a minor complication.  They said to use a ginger root, but did not specify the size. Their recipe, I found, called for way more sugar than I actually needed, but it worked out in the end.

My Ginger Root

Now pealed and chopped

Simmer in water for about 45 minutes to 1 hour

Scoop out the ginger with a slotted spoon and put aside 1/4 cup of the "ginger water" left in the pot. The rest can be poured out, or if you are like me and really like ginger you can add it to plain ice tea, or if you are really brave drink it straight.  It is VERY spicy, almost peppery, but I like it.  On the other hand, when I had my husband try it he exclaimed, "why would you let me put that in my mouth?!?"  To each their own.

Mix the 1/4 cup ginger water, 1 cup of white sugar, and the ginger in the pot. 

Heat to medium / medium high till it starts to simmer and turn heat down to medium. Stir every couple of minutes.

After about 20-30 minutes the water will evaporate leaving only the sugar and ginger. Take off the heat. (I ended up with a lot of extra sugar because the recipe I used called for 2 cups of sugar, I found a recipe video from youtube of Alton Brown's recipe that explained the ratio of ginger to sugar should be the same).

Now spread the mixture out on a sheet of parchment paper to cool.  I did not have any parchment paper, so I cut open a paper bag and spread it over a baking sheet.

The recipe didn't end up exactly how I planned because I ended up with about a cup of "ginger sugar" left oever, but the candied ginger came out perfect. I think I will have to make ginger snaps to use up some of the "ginger sugar", but it also can be used to sweeten tea, make lemonade, and many other things.

Two for one!
Yum, candied ginger!

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