Friday, September 14, 2007

Crystallized Ginger

This is great stuff. It is a great way to preserve fresh ginger. Far more fun than dousing it with sugared vodka, and the resulting syrup begs you to make waffles.

This is the flavoring for my niece Jenna's namesake chocolate truffle. She eats it out of hand as a candy, likes it chopped over ice cream, in fruit cake, and as a substitute or an addition to her beloved, indulgent uncle's homemade cinnamon raisin bread. (damn every time I ramble before cutting to the chase I end up with another recipe to post)


1 1/2 pounds fresh, peeled ginger, cut into medallions (should be about a quart by volume)
3 cups sugar
1 lemon, sliced thin and seeded
1 cup light Karo® syrup (usually when I use a brand name it is because I've tried another label and not have had good results. Go ahead and use an off brand if you want, but there's something about the Karo® that works in this one)
large granule sugar for dusting

In a large, heavy stainless steel pot put the ginger along with enough water to completely cover with a few inches to spare. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for about twenty minutes unhtil the ginger is to a place where a fork will enter but not skewer. A piece picked up should be pliable but not limp.

Stir in 1 cup of the sugar, bring to a boil, then remove from heat and store covered overnight.

Day 2 - Uncover and bring liquid to a boil again. Add the Karo® and the lemon slices. Reduce heat to simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and store at room temperature, covered, overnight.

Day 3 - Uncover and bring to a boil again. Stirring often, add in 1 cup sugar and reduce heat to a simmer and stirring often, simmer 30 minutes. Bring heat back to a boil slowly, add in the last cup of sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Remove from heat, store covered at room temperature overnight.

Day 4 - Uncover, and bring slowly up to a simmer, stirring intermittently until the ginger is mostly translucent, this should take about 45 minutes to an hour. Slower is better here. The syrup should be reduced to a point where it almost balls on the side of the spoon. I look for when it begins to make one big drop on the side rather than dripping.

Take the ginger slices out of the syrup and place them on a rack (hose this down with cooking spray!) over wax paper to catch the drips. Dry over night. Run the syrup through a sieve to remove all the lemon slices and any chunky things, store tightly covered.

Shake the dried slices in a bag with large crystal sugar (Sugar In The Raw® works great for this) and store in a large, airtight jar.

This ginger has far, far more bite than anything you might buy from a store. The syrup can also be used 2 tablespoons to a large tumbler of club soda and a lemon slice, for awesome ginger ale. Over buckwheat pancakes it has to be tasted to be believed.


I forgot to add that this recipe can be made completely using a crock pot or other slow cooker. Alternate between the settings. When the instructions call for increasing the temperature slowly it is pretty damned close to perfect.



Blogger FriĆ°vin said...

My grandmother used to make a Karo nut pie. My grandfather would sometimes ask for a "female Karo nut pie."

11:59 AM  
Blogger Batocchio said...

Wow. Neat. I've had crytallized ginger in chocolate before, and it's great.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not at all a ginger fan, but something tells me the smell in the kitchen gets quite heady when you're making this... ;)

- oddjob

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You haven't indicated on Day 2 whether the mixture should be stored covered at room temperature or at some other temp.

- oddjob

2:28 PM  
Blogger Sherry Pasquarello said...

sounds amazing, but my heart is stuck on the cinnamon raisin bread.
oh my.

2:40 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

thanks oddjob.

i fixed it.

it was room temperature but it needs to be said so that nobody sticks it into the fridge which would inhibit the saturation process we are wanting to achieve.

2:50 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

sherry, cinnamon raisin break will be forthcoming. it will be my next food post when i get frustrated with the administration.

hell, that could be as soon as tonight. . .

3:26 PM  
Blogger Sherry Pasquarello said...

i can almost smell it baking. oh...

3:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Do you store the syrup in the fridge or would that just cause it to become crystalized? How long does it keep after it is made? I am thinking of making this and taking the syrup along with some Kerby Lane gingerbread pancake mix to a friend in Santa Fe who is hooked on the KL gingerbread pan cakes and has to have some everytime he comes to town.

8:50 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

as long as your jar is airtight there should be no problem with room temperature storage. if you ever get a crystallization effect you can take care of it the same way you do with honey, just put it in a water bath at about 200° and wait for the crystals to disappear. i've never had it last long enough to find out shelf life.
it also rocks in an iced latte.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Maheanuu Tane said...

I bet that it would also make a incredible Shandy.... As there isn't any ginger beer around worth buying.

Way back when, I would make my stop at the Fleet Club in Hong Kong and drink Shandys and play darts. Love running the alleys in Asia.. Never know what gourmet foods you will find in some little nook where the only language understood is hand signs, and a smile.

Thanks Mate!

11:11 PM  
Blogger SB Gypsy said...

MMMMMMMMM_mmmm, sounds wonderful. I'm going to have to make me some.

5:55 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

yeah, maheanuu tane, old china sailors are among the few folks who understand the treasures to be found in the alleyways of asia. before i was deployed to vietnam the navy was kind enough to drop me at treasure island long enough to become functional in vietnamese and french. but, i always believed that the best food, the real people, the true treasures of the place were usually found in the alleys and open air markets.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

mt, have you tried Reed's Extra Ginger beer? It is a little bit on the sweet side but it has a great ginger kick. Their premium is not quite so sweet but doesn't have as much kick.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Maheanuu Tane said...

No SS, but you have my interest piqued. I am goin' lookin' Anything is better than ginger ale...

11:41 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I just started this process and will post the results at my Shimoda's Dream blog.

At this point, I am thankful that I have invested in Wusthof knives, a great kitchen scale and an Endurance stock pot. (The pot was a gift.)

12:11 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

one place that skimping on the price is never, ever, allowed in my kitchen is with the knives. wusthof is a great brand. when the germans aren't bent on world domination they make some decent kitchen equipment. scales are a must. simply a must. especially if one intends to do any serious baking. for perfect measurement weight is the only reliable standard. it's not so important out here in the desert where the humidity index remains stable and quite low. but as soon as ya'll are on the wrong side of the pecos it begins to make a difference.

good luck with your recipe.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:50 AM  
Anonymous Hot Tub Covers said...

Wow, I never knew about this method!

12:43 PM  

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