I found myself in need of candied ginger the other day, so instead of driving all the way into town (bleah) I decided to make my own. Turns out it’s really easy and inexpensive, and you end up with extra bonus gingery sugar lumps. Win win win!
There are a bunch of step-by-step photos at the end of the post!
There are only three ingredients and the process is really simple, but it does require some patience while you wait for the magical part at the end where the sugar syrup recrystalizes.
- 1 lb fresh, peeled ginger root
- 5 cups water
- 1 lb granulated white sugar
- Put a cooling rack over a cookie sheet. This is where you will spread the ginger out to cool. Alton Brown suggests spraying the rack with non-stick spray, but it’s not really necessary.
- Peel the ginger root and slice into 1/8″ rounds. As with many things, your knife work here doesn’t have to be super fancy — I ended up with some thinner pieces, some thicker pieces, some weird little chunky end bits, etc. Doesn’t really matter — it all works out in the end.
- Dump the ginger into a mediumish sized pot with the water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a high simmer for 30-40 minutes. The ginger will end up a bit more tender, but won’t fall apart. Your house will smell amazing.
- Reserve 1/3 cup of the now-deeply-ginger-infused cooking liquid. Drain the ginger and dump it back into the pot. Add the sugar and the reserved cooking liquid.
- Bring this a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium/medium-low. This is the part where you need to have some patience. Cook the ginger & sugar syrup, stirring frequently, while the syrup continues to reduce and reduce. For me, this part took maybe 30-40 minutes.
- Then magic will happen! At some point the syrup will lose enough water that it will start to recrystallize. Keep stirring and let it get clumpy, then take it off the heat.
- Spread the sugary gingery bits out on the cooling rack, separating them so they don’t clump together.
- Let cool, then store in an airtight container. Rescue all the extra sugary bits that fell through the cooling rack, and store those in a separate container. Those are now magical ginger sugar lumps, and are good for baking or tea or ice cream or whatever.
- If you examine the ingredients list carefully, you’ll note that the recipe calls for the same weight of sugar as peeled ginger. You can scale this recipe down! Or up! Whatever you need!
- Original recipe source: Alton Brown’s Candied Ginger.