Every time I pass by this stuff I stick one in my mouth.
I never knew you could make this in a home kitchen and I’m too cheap to purchase it, so when I opened a new cookbook and found this recipe, I was quick to try it. Granted, my crystallized ginger is probably not as beautiful as professionally prepared, but remember, it was my first time making it. I will make this again for sure because I love all things ginger. Just think – now I can make anything I want that calls for crystallized ginger without the sticker shock.
Here’s what you need:
½ pound of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch slices and 1 Cup sugar
Here’s what you do: Peel and slice the ginger
Cook the ginger in boiling water for about 20 minutes to soften it a bit. Drain and allow to dry on a wire rack.
Combine ginger, 1 Cup sugar and 2 Tablespoons water in a 12 inch skillet. (they need a lot of room)
Cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes.
Stir it once in a while and shake the pan around so the slices don’t stick together. Do not let the sugar caramelize! As soon as the sugar is thick, syrupy and begins to crystallize, remove the ginger with a slotted spoon.
You’ll know when to stop cooking….. the sugar turns from granules to crystals in an obvious way. The unexpected bonus from this fun project was the 'throw-away' sugar that was left in the pan. We have used it in tea and cocktails. It would be excellent sprinkled on oatmeal or ice cream. Can't stop eating it! And yes, the pan was easy to clean...... (look at it!)
The recipe said that this process takes 52 minutes….. 52! So, I was compulsively standing at my stove watching the ginger bubble and boil in the pan…. Every few minutes I glanced over to see how it was going. I just could not imagine what would happen at minute 52 and I was compulsively frantic over the thought of what would happen at minute 53…… Well, it did not take 52 minutes! The magic happened for me at 25 minutes….. perhaps my heat was too high? Don’t know and don’t care because I am perfectly happy with the results.
The large pieces were dipped in unsweetened chocolate for a special treat with espresso. I stuck them in the freezer to harden for a few minutes and they turned out perfect! I sent the picture below to my daughter who said, "Mom, that's so Ann Arbor!"
(recipe from: 2010 Christmas with Southern Living )