One of the classic flavors of the Christmas season is ginger. Gingerbread, ginger cookies, ginger cakes, the list is endless. Another way to add ginger flavor to your holiday desserts is by using candied ginger. Candied ginger is fresh ginger that has been first cooked and then dried with sugar. Use it in moderation. It has more sugar in it than gummy candies!
Making candied ginger is easy but time-consuming. There are as many recipes for making it as there are uses for it. Basically, this is what you will need:
• 1 pound of ginger
• 3 cups of water
• 3 cups of sugar, separated
Use young ginger root which is ginger root that has not become woody with age. Peel one pound and slice it thinly, about 1/8-inch thick. A mandoline helps.
In a saucepan, mix 2 cups of sugar in 3 cups of water. Boil it until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has completely dissolved, turn the heat down, add the ginger slices and simmer them until they are soft. This will take 45 minutes to one hour.
Line a rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Spread 1 cup of sugar on the parchment paper. Remove the ginger slices from the pan using a slotted spoon and place them on the sugar. Gently toss the ginger slices until they are completely covered with sugar. Arrange them in a single layer on the pan.
Leave the pan out to dry for a minimum of two hours or as long as overnight. Stored your candied ginger in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Bonus: Reserve the sugar water that the ginger slices were simmered in. It is known as simple syrup and can be used in cocktails and many other recipes.