Today's project is another aha! moment. When I asked my sweet husband how he thought crystallized ginger was made he pondered and postulated that perhaps gelatin and ginger flavoring was involved. I found some easier than pie directions on the web and will now reveal the truth. Crystallized ginger involves ginger and sugar. And lots of it.
It's easy to make and you have the satisfaction of having your own, hand-made candied ginger. It's so pretty I love just looking at it, but it also packs a huge ginger wallop. Take a munch on one of these babies and your sinuses are cleared and you are definitely awake! Plus, as a bonus, you end up with ginger syrup which you can pour on pancakes, spoon over ice cream, stir into your tea or use in recipes in place of corn syrup for an extra hit of ginger flavor.
Homemade Crystallized Ginger
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
Extra sugar for coating
Peel the ginger root and slice into 1/8th inch thin slices. Make enough to fill a 1 cup measure.
Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the ginger slices. When the mixture begins to boil start timing 45 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure the slices don't stick to each other. As the syrup boils the ginger slices will start to curl up like little potato chips.
Remove the pan from the heat. Spoon out the ginger chips onto a cooling rack set over a cookie sheet. Pour the syrup from the pan into a jar and save for another use.
Let the ginger cool for 30 minutes. In a small bowl pour about 1/2 cup of sugar. Working with a few pieces at a time, put the ginger slices in the sugar and spoon sugar over them to coat. Remove to a piece of wax paper to dry.
Store in an airtight container.
There - fun and easy! And if you're wondering what to do with your pretty candied ginger, tune in tomorrow...