Monday, July 30, 2012

Crystallized ginger and ginger simple syrup

Who knew that you could make fantastic ginger simple syrup from the left overs after making crystallized ginger? Further, who knew that making crystallized ginger at home is a royal PITA?!
However, I wanted a lot of crystallized ginger for some jam making, so had to make it. After trolling through the web, I came across Alton Brown's version on The Cooking Channel. His stuff is usually reliable, so I simply followed it. I reproduce the recipe from memory here, but all credit really belongs to him.

Ingredients (Crystallized Ginger)

1lb fresh ginger peeled
5 cups water
1lb granulated sugar


Spray a cooling rack with Pam or other cooking spray. Set on top of a baking sheet lined with freezer paper or parchment paper.
Peel the ginger and slice thinly - preferably using a mandolin or V-slicer. The slices should be less than 1/4 inches thick.
Place the ginger and water into a saucepot and simmer for at least 40 minutes - until the ginger is soft.
Drain and strain the water into 2 containers. The first container will hold 1/2 cup of liquid. The second, whatever is left over - around 4 cups in my case. 
Weigh the ginger, and use the same weight of sugar. Add the 1/2 cup water and sugar to the ginger back in sauce pot. Cook stirring frequently to start with and constantly at the end until the pot is dry. The ginger will then be coated nicely with the sugar, and the sugar will have penetrated a bit. Be REALLY CAREFUL here, the pan goes from nice and bubbly to dark brown napalm in the blink of an eye. And then you have to figure out how to clean it. But that's another story!
Once the ginger is dry, lay it out to cool on the wire rack. Once cooled, store in a plastic bag. 

Ingredients (ginger simple syrup)

4 cups granulated sugar
3 3/4 cups of ginger water (left over from the crystallized ginger above)


Mix the sugar and ginger water in a saucepot and bring to the boil over medium heat. Boil for 30 seconds, then allow to cool

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