Every tried to buy candied or crystallized ginger in the spice rack at the grocery store? It is ridiculously overpriced…a single small bottle can cost upwards of $10, which is silly because you can make your own for about $10 a POUND.
To get started, you’ll need:
1 pound of fresh ginger root
To make it easier, select the fattest roots you can find. Peel them with a vegetable peeler or the edge of a spoon. Now you need to slice the ginger into 1/4″ thick slices. The best way to do this is with a mandoline, but if you don’t have one, you can do it with a knife.
Place the ginger into a big pot, cover about 1″ with water, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the ginger is tender when you try to cut it with a fork.
When the ginger is tender, scoop about about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain off the rest of the liquid. (Save it, sweeten it with honey, add some lemon, and you have an INCREDIBLE throat tea, especially with a shot of bourbon added to it!)
Return the ginger and the 1/4 cup of cooking liquid to the pot and add:
2 cups sugar
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Stir the pot frequently. The sugar syrup will begin to reduce, and eventually it will start to crystallize and look a bit dry. This usually takes about half an hour. Don’t let it burn!
Pour the candied ginger out onto cooling racks and separate each piece carefully (it’s hot!!!), and then let it dry out. You’ll get a bunch of gingery sugar crystals that stick to the racks and fall beneath. That’s AMAZING stuff for coffee or tea.
Once the ginger is fully cool, store it in a glass jar in the fridge, and it’ll keep for a year. You can eat this stuff outright, or use it in cookies (like my pumpkin gingerbread cookies), quick breads, or in cocktails or tea. It’s great stuff!