The freshly dug, young ginger that I got the other week at the farmers’ market wasn’t going to last forever, so why not make crystallized ginger! It’s so adorable, with it’s sweet bite awakening cakes, cookies, juices, dessert toppings, scones, etc. It’s been on my Martha Stewart Not-So-Everyday List for 20 years. I sugared lilacs in the spring and absolutely every June the Johnny-Jump-Ups were sugared for my daughter Kendra’s birthday cake throughout the years, but I never got around to crystallizing the coarse ginger roots from the supermarket. This juicy young stuff from Barefoot Gardens was calling to me, though. It’s time for some Breaking Bad action.
Most recipes out there call for white sugar, a few recipes get more natural with raw sugar or maple syrup. I ended up cooking the ginger in raw sugar and finished by rolling the pieces in white sugar for that fairy dust effect. It’s imperative to slice the ginger root as thinly as possible. The most efficient but terrifying tool for this job is a mandoline. The slippery little disks could easily be the cause of fingertip loss and I won’t be held responsible. However, the gadget does a fantastic job of slicing 1/4″ uniform medallions. If you don’t have one, get out your sharpest knife.
The side product of making this recipe is the ginger syrup you’ll end up with after removing the ginger slices after cooking. Pour into a sterilized jar and refrigerate until needed. The remaining syrup may be used to flavor drinks, cakes, cookies, ice cream, etc. I’ll think up a recipe soon that you can use it in.
Crystallized ginger can be eaten like candy; it’s wonderful for settling an upset tummy, if you can handle the added zing.
- 1 cup thinly sliced ginger, cut cross-wise ¼-inch thick
- 1½ cups sugar, divided
- 1 cup water
- In a large, wide sauce or preserving pan, combine the ginger, 1 cup of sugar, and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the ginger for 30 minutes for young, freshly dug ginger or 45 minutes for older ginger. The ginger should be translucent.
- On parchment or a baking sheet, sprinkle the ½ cup of sugar in a thin layer. Remove the ginger with a slotted spoon and distribute the slices evenly over the sugar-lined sheet. Using the tips of 2 forks, gently separate the slices and turn them a few times to coat completely with sugar.
- Dry the crystallized ginger for 24 hours. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.
Love my crystallized ginger. I’ll be using it frequently in a lot of recipes this fall. I definitely want to make some fruit chutney and this ginger is perfect for adding some zing!