Making Crystallized Ginger
I really like crystallized ginger as a treat and to use in baking. It is very easy to make. I keep it in a air tight container in the freezer and use as needed.
Crystallized ginger has a much better fresher taste than store-bought; a zippy ginger syrup (good paired with lemon juice for tea, stirred into soda water, and undoubtedly shaken with vodka and lime juice into a cocktail); and ginger sugar.
Crystallized ginger is a great candy but also adds a little zing to cookies, candies, quick breads and scones. I like it thin and crunchy, make it any way you like, in chunks or thicker slices, go ahead!
8 ounces fresh ginger (can be found at most grocery stores and farmers markets)
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Instructions:Peel the ginger and, using a spoon, then slice it very thinly, about ⅛ inch thick.
Bring 2 cups of the sugar and the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the ginger, stirring to coat; lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and let steep for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Strain the liquids from the solids, retaining the strained ginger syrup for another use, such as stirring into sparkling water for a quick soda. (Refrigerated, it will keep for up to a week.)
Pour the remaining 1½ cups of sugar in with the drained ginger pieces and mix with your hands, coating every surface of the ginger with sugar; make sure the ginger pieces don’t stick together.
Spread the ginger out in a single layer on a baking sheet and let it dry overnight, stirring once or twice.
Once it’s completely dry, move it to an airtight container lined with a paper towel. The ginger will keep for up to a year in the refrigerator or longer in the freezer, but try to use it up in a year for best taste.
**Save the sugar that falls off from the crystallized ginger for other uses: to sprinkle on top of cookies, or scones, or add to your to add an extra cookie recipes (especially ginger).
I also like to dip it in dark or milk chocolate to make an extra special treat!