Yesterday was Natalie’s birthday.
It has been a big year for her as she had a major operation on her ankle. The operation went well and for the last few months she’s been recovering.
To celebrate Natalie’s birthday I decided to make a little treat to enjoy in her honor. I woke up early and paid a visit to our local traditional market.
Buried amongst the other goodies you will see a large stalk of fresh young ginger. I’ve been thinking about trying my hand at homemade crystallized (or candied) ginger for quite some time. I know Natalie loves ginger as much as I do so it was the perfect birthday recipe to make for her.
I followed Alton Brown’s recipe found here and copied below. It turned out perfectly. Next time I come back to Ohio I’ll be sure to bring a batch with me for you, Nat.
1 pound fresh ginger root
5 cups water
Approximately 1 pound sugar
1. Spray a cooling rack with nonstick spray and set it in a sheet pan lined with parchment.
2. Peel the ginger root and slice into 1/8-inch thick slices using a mandoline (or a sharp knife).
3. Place into a 4-quart saucepan with the water and set over medium-high heat. Cover and cook for 35 minutes or until the ginger is tender.
4. Transfer the ginger to a colander to drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Weigh the ginger and measure out an equal amount of sugar.
5. Return the ginger and 1/4 cup water to the pan and add the sugar. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar syrup looks dry, has almost evaporated and begins to recrystallize, approximately 20 minutes.
6. Transfer the ginger immediately to the cooling rack and spread to separate the individual pieces.
7. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
I saved all of the liquid the ginger was cooked in and and have been adding it to my green tea. It’s delicious.
I know Goose and Fern really wanted to wish Natalie a Happy Birthday but they were too sleepy – I couldn’t wake them up!
Love, Mel, Luke, Goose and Fern