Sunday, June 14, 2009
Crystallized Ginger and Ginger Syrup
The Monster has been into the idea of making flavored simple syrups to have on hand for mixed drinks, and I happened upon a recipe that made both candied ginger and the syrup in one go.
I can attest to the addictiveness of the candied ginger, the drinks are in his court. I'll post any good ones he might make with the syrup. Make sure you keep any extra sugar that remains after tossing the slices for rimming martini glasses. :-)
Crystallized Ginger and Ginger Syrup:
(a recipe by Rita posted on recipezaar.com)
a large blemish-free hand of ginger, about 10 oz. (think mine was a little more)
2 cups (+more for coating the candies) evaporated cane juice crystals, or just regular old sugar
1/4 cup water
Scrape skin off ginger (I like to use a sharp measuring spoon) and cut into ~1/8" thick slices. I used a food processor slicing blade and it worked great and got the job done in all of a few seconds. If you use the processor, try load the hopper such that you'll get rounds instead of long side strips. A few of my pieces fell over and the result is just like cutting flank steak with the grain instead of against. Long fibrous strips!
Still taste good, but you get the idea.
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan (mine was a 3-qt), toss the ginger slices in the sugar.
Now add 1/4 cup of water and heat to simmer.
Simmer for a good 1 1/2 hours over a very low flame. Your aim is not to carmelize the sugar.
Stir from time to time throughout the cooking process.
Sprinkle 1/4-1/2 cup of evap. cane juice over a parchment-lined baking sheet and set aside.
When you think they're done enough, drain the ginger through a fine sieve over a bowl, so that you can retain the syrup for other uses.
Place the drained ginger in a single layer on top of the sugared parchment-lined sheet pan to cool (8-10 min).
Toss the ginger in the sugar to coat, then place in an air-tight container or ziplock bag and store away from heat and light.
You can use these chopped in baking, or just munch away on them as is. Really good and spicy!
The recipe I used says to add 1 cup of water to the remaining syrup and heat to mix, but we just stored it as is in the fridge. Haven't figured out how much we'll thin it yet (update: trying 1/2 cup of water to see if that keeps it from recrystallizing in the frigo)...but I'm thinking it'd be great straight in fizzy water for a ginger soda!