Candied ginger is a wonderful tea candy and I have learnt to appreciate it from early on as it was the one sweet that – rarely though that it was available in our household – was almost entirely reserved to my other-wise not particularly sweet-toothed mother. This was partially due to the fact that my mother, for her standards, would be rather possessive when it came to this particular treat. Not possessive enough, of course, not to share the exotic and pungent tasting candy with her children or anyone else who would display an interest in sampling – lucky for my mother, this however did not happen as the male members of the family resolutely rejected the „reluctant“ sweet, which is the other (and probably more important) reason why any candied ginger used to be rather exclusively claimed by mother (maybe it was also the reason why she picked this candy as „her“ treat in the first place – she would actually stand a chance to get a share of it). Be that as it may, I was the only other member of the family who would enjoy a small taster here and there, being fascinated by the very different and strange taste. It stuck, and apart from using candied ginger as a candy in its own right, I also make ample use of it in baking or cocktail mixing today.
Use young ginger if you can get a hold of it, as the older rhizomes are rather rich in fibre and thus less tender. The ginger preserves well in its own syrup but also keeps well in dried form. The syrup, if not used for preserving the ginger, can also be used in cooking, baking and for cocktail-mixing – so do not discard it!
- 250 to 500 grams of fresh ginger (depending on how much you wish to make)
- Caster sugar (400 grams to 1 kg)
- a pinch of salt
- a dash of lemon juice
- Optional: very finely granulated sugar for coating
- Pee the ginger, wash and cut into very thin slices.
- Put into a pot, add water until completely covered and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, drain and repeat one time. Drain again at the end, then put the the ginger back into the pot and cover with water (measure the volume of water used this time).
- Add sugar. The proportion of the sugar and the water should be 1:1 measured by volume, i.e. if you use (e.g.) 400 ml of water fill your measuring cup with sugar up to 400 ml and add to the water.
- Add a pinch of salt and a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Bring to the boil and simmer until the syrup thickens (it should be viscous, but not too thick).
- If you wish to coat the ginger in sugar, drain (but preserve the syrup) while hot, immediately roll in very finely granulated sugar and spread to dry (e.g. on aluminium foil or a grate). Let dry overnight.
- If you do not wish to coat the ginger in sugar (especially if you wish to process it further, e.g. use it in baking or cooking), let soak in the syrup for at least 1 more hour or best overnight. Then drain (preserve the syrup) and let dry overnight as described in step 6 above.
- Use preserving glasses disinfected in boiling water for storage which you should handle with disinfected tongs (or similar tools) only.