It may seem a bit strange to be starting a blog called FairyCAKEmother with a post about making crystallised ginger, but every blog needs to start somewhere, and today it’s ginger.
Lots and lots of ginger.
I love ginger and I’ve made lots of confectionery like fudge and caramel before, but never crystallised ginger. So I thought it was about time I did. I looked online and found a lot of recipes and decided to go with one from a favourite blog of mine ‘Hell Yeah It’s Vegan!‘ (in case you’re wondering, I’m not vegan but I do a lot of vegan cooking and baking).
Here’s my take on her recipe.
4 cups of ginger is about 3/4kg unpeeled. I’d get a kilo and do it all to be sure though. You can keep any extra in cold water in a jam jar in the fridge and it should be ok for a couple of weeks. Use in Thai dishes or slice into hot water as a refreshing winter drink. Weigh it peeled and sliced and if you have a pound that should be fine.
I simmered the peelings and knobbly bits in water for 10 minutes instead of throwing them away. Strain using muslin or a clean tea towel (one where the colour won’t run!). Then you can throw away the peelings or compost them. Pour into warmed jam jars. I use this diluted in hot water for a drink, in pancake batter or cakes for a gingery kick, or in curries, rice or pasta.
The amount of sugar you need is a kilo bag if you aren’t used to cup measurements, just so you know how much to buy. You’ll need a bit less if you aren’t sugaring the ginger afterwards.
The amount of simmering needed for the ginger to become translucent and get to the right temperature varies a lot. Start with 50 minutes and check every 5-10 mins from there. Hobs vary a lot. Sugar can boil over very quickly and easily – making a dangerous mess – so it’s better to keep the temperature on the lower side and a longer cooking time if you don’t have a gas hob that you can finely adjust.
It’s well worth making. A lovely way to spend an afternoon pottering in the kitchen whilst doing other things.
All in all, I have several jars of ginger in syrup, 2 jars of ginger water made from the root peelings and several jars of syrup I made from the simmered ginger water (use 1 cup of ginger water to 1 cup of sugar and simmer until reduced by half).
The ginger tastes completely different to shop bought ginger. It has a purer taste, less hot and with a much more complex flavour. If you’re not a fan of commercial ginger, I suggest you try this before writing off crystallised ginger altogether. It’s beautiful.