This is a project that’s a three-for-one: you can make a bowlful of candied ginger, and for no additional effort or ingredient, you will also end up with a few jars full of delicious ginger syrup, and even some ginger sugar! Hows that for a return on investment! And lest you think – gee, isn’t that a lot of ginger to have in the house?”, check the idea list at the bottom of the page to see some of the delicious ways to use this stuff. You may go through it much faster than you thought you would.
What you’ll need:
- One pound of ginger
- 4 cups sugar (you’ll use three cups and then one cup, so keep them separate)
- 3 cups water
Use the edge of a spoon, or the back of a knife to scrape the skin off the ginger. Sometimes its easiest to break the knobs and peel them individually, rather than trying to get into all the nooks and crannies. Slice into 1/8 inch pieces. Put the pieces of ginger into a pot of 3 cups of sugar, 3 cups of water. Simmer, covered, on med-low until the ginger is tender. Check ginger at 1/2 hour, if its not tender, continue to cook uncovered, checking every 15 minutes.
When the ginger is tender, drain it through a sieve into a bowl. What’s drained off is your ginger syrup. Put it into a jar and refrigerate when cool.
Spread the drained ginger on a plate – a clean spatter guard works great – and put in an oven that is slightly warm. Use the “proof” setting if you have one. When the ginger pieces are dry enough (trying time will depend on the temperature and humidity of the air) that the once shiny ginger looks dull and it only feels damp when you touch them, put them into a jar with the remaining cup of sugar. Cap and shake until the ginger is evenly coated with sugar. Empty the jar back out onto the plate or spatter guard and return to the oven till completely dry.
I like to store the candied ginger in the freezer because it prevents the candy from weeping and soaking up its sugar coating. Reserve any sugar that doesn’t stick to the ginger, because that’s now ginger sugar, and store in an airtight container in the pantry.
And then, what to with what you just made:
What to do with Ginger Syrup:
- Add a few tablespoons to a glass of carbonated water for delicious ginger ale
- Use as the sweet component in salad dressing (what about a spinach, pear, and goat cheese salad with a ginger vinaigrette?)
- Stir into boiling water with a squeeze of lemon (and a little honey if the ginger syrup isn’t sweet enough for your taste) for a throat soother
- Drizzle onto ice cream or other desserts
- Mix some into iced tea, lemonade or limeade
- Put on pancakes (mmm… blueberry pancakes with ginger syrup.)
What to do with Candied Ginger:
- Mince and add to gingersnaps or other cookies
- Blend up with butter and oatmeal as part of use on apple crisp topping
- Add chopped ginger pieces to the top of coffee cake
- Eat for a spicy sweet treat!
- Add, with orange or lemon zest, to scones
- Use as a garnish in ginger-lemonade
- Sprinkle pieces on cake for sparkly decoration
- Add to granola along with dried peaches and vanilla (that’s the reason I made this particular batch of ginger)
- Sprinkle on yogurt, along with honey, fresh fruit, and a squeeze of lemon
- Add to stir fries in Asian cooking
- Chop up and mix into fruit salad
- Use in a marinade
And Lastly, What to do with Ginger Sugar
Note – this recipe will result in some, but not tons of ginger sugar. If you want to make more, whir a cup of sugar and a piece of candied ginger in a food processor. Store in a jar for a few days to really let the flavors “meld and marry,” as my Dad would say.
- Roll balls of cookie dough around in it before baking
- Put in a bowl for fancy sugar at a tea party
- Toss with fruit when making pie or crisp
- Sprinkle on walnuts when making candied nuts
- Make caramel sauce that has a hint of ginger
- Rim your iced tea glasses
- Make cinnamon toast
- Sprinkle on a baked apple before you put it into the oven
- Substitute for plain sugar in baking