I’ve been experimenting with cooking lately, and a few weeks ago, I made some crystallized ginger. The recipe is simple, but requires a bit of precision.
The best way to make it is, of course, with a candy thermometer, so you can get the sugar syrup to the right proportions. But I don’t have one, and can’t be bothered to get one, so I went with the eyeball test. Basically, I cooked the syrup until it was the consistency of thin honey, and left it at that. I’ve also heard that you can take the syrup and drip a bit in a glass of cold water. It should form thin threads but not congeal into a ball. Cook it any longer, and you’ll have hard candy.
The process is pretty simple:
- Take some ginger, peel, and slice thinly.
- Boil in plain water for 10-15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Take equal parts sugar and water and mix in the pot. Add a touch of salt, and the ginger slices.
- Cook until the liquid is the consistency of hot thin honey.
- Let rest for about an hour or two.
One can leave the ginger slices as is, at this point, or, while still warm, remove and roll around on a plate of sugar.
Once cool, I store either in the syrup, or drain out of the syrup and store in a ziploc. If they’ve been sugared, I’ll brush off the excess sugar and store in the ziploc.
The sugar syrup can be used for other things, like perhaps with a bit of sparkling water or soda, or maybe even added to some champagne and orange juice.
You’ll notice there are no measurements in this recipe – I think it depends on how much you want to make. The rule of thumb is that you need enough sugar syrup to cover the ginger pieces, but that can also depend on the size of your pot. In my most recent batch, I used 4 pieces of ginger about the size of thumb, sliced thinly, and cooked in 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar.