How to Make Candied Ginger
Have you ever come across a recipe calling for candied ginger but passed because you didn’t have any, couldn’t find any in the store, or just didn’t want to bother trying to find it? Or have you thought about making it yourself but weren’t sure how or figured it would be too much work? Well this is for you!
If you like candied ginger just wait until you’ve tried homemade! The flavor is worlds better – so much fresher with a stronger, more vibrant flavor. And if you don’t care for candied ginger, you’ll be converted once you’ve tried it in a few recipes (see ideas below).
How to Make Ginger Candy at Home
Generally, you want to use young, small ginger roots because they’re less woody/more tender. But medium-sized will work just fine as well. Most ginger is imported from China but you can occasionally find non-Chinese grown ginger which I recommend. I also recommend organic if possible.
If you slice it paper-thin the result will be crunchy crystallized ginger, but you also don’t want it too thick. 1/8 is thick is about right. You’ll need about 1 pound of sliced ginger.
Place the sliced ginger in a medium-sized pot and cover with water and just a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the ginger water and then drain the sliced ginger (you can also keep the ginger water for tea or a tonic).
Place the reserved ginger water and sugar in the pot.
Add the sliced ginger, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for about 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The mixture will become somewhat thickened as the sugar turns to a syrup. Simmer until a candy thermometer reads 225 degrees F. You don’t have to use a candy thermometer but it sure makes it a lot easier than guesswork. This thermometer is what I’m using now – it has great reviews and can be used for both candy and meats. A thermometer, in my opinion, is an essential kitchen gadget. Once the ginger mixture has reached 225 F drain the ginger immediately while hot. Use a colander over a bowl so you can collect the drained syrup. Don’t discard that syrup. This recipe produces a delicious by-product: GINGER SIMPLE SYRUP! Add a teaspoon or two to your drinks for a refreshing ZING!
Lay the ginger slices out on a large cooling rack over a cookie sheet, separating the individual slices the best you can (this is the more tedious part of the process).
Let the ginger sit for 2 hours so they’re sticky but not wet (you want the sugar to be able to adhere without dissolving).
Toss the pieces in a bowl of sugar to coat all sides.
Lay the crystallized ginger back on the cooling rack to sit overnight to dry. Note: If you’re in a place with high humidity you can also dry these in a food dehydrator or in the oven on the very lowest temperature setting (you may need to keep the oven door cracked open).
Store the crystallized ginger in an airtight container in a dark, cool place. Because it’s cooked and sugar and then coated with sugar, it will keep for several months.
Working Video of How to Make Ginger Candy
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