Thursday, December 20, 2012

Candied Ginger

Wouldn't you know it!  I was all geared up for corn syrup free candy making this Christmas .... and after no rain since September, it's been raining.  And the humidity is up too high - I proved it to myself with a disastrous batch of Seafoam.  However, these candied gingers turned out great!  And you end up with quite a bit of ginger syrup that makes a great ginger ale (mixed with seltzer water).  It's also yummy over ice cream and I'm thinking it'd work really well in some baked goods recipes I have in mind.

There are several things that will make this turn out really good - find the freshest ginger you can (Asian markets are often a good place to start), cut the ginger as thin as you can and in very small pieces (much smaller than the ones in the photo), and look at the grain in your ginger.  Yes, ginger has a grain that can be tough to cut across.  I cut my larger pieces against the grain and then made my small slices with the grain - much easier.  This is very hot at first, but it mellows after a few days in an airtight container.

Candied Ginger
1 cup peeled fresh ginger cut into very thin, small pieces
3 cups organic sugar
3 cups water
about 1/2 cup organic sugar

In a non-reactive pan, combine the water and raw sugar and heat over medium heat until dissolved.  Add ginger.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 45 - 50 minutes - until the ginger is tender.  Spread the white sugar over the bottom of a cake pan or pie plate.  Strain out the ginger and add to the additional sugar, stirring to coat and separate the pieces.  Leave out on the counter until dry and hard.  Separate the pieces and store in an airtight container.

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