I have a favorite dish at Thanksgiving that calls for crystalized ginger. It’s a bit pricey, and I began to ponder how to make such an item. I googled and found this from Alton Brown. (Ya gotta love that guy) It sounded really easy so I gave it a shot. Yep, it was easy and one thing that was not mentioned that I did, was when you drain the ginger from the purified boiling water SAVE IT ! You get an amazing result. The ginger “tea” is really potent! In order to make tea with it you have to water it down! But it is a Zinger of a tea. Another side benefit from making crystalized ginger (noted in his recipe) is the sugar residue left over from crystalization. Perfect for putting in your tea or topping off beautiful muffins or cakes. It’s just lovely. Here’s all you do:
1 pound fresh ginger root
5 cups of purified water
Approximately 1 pound of sugar (mine worked out to be much too much, hence the left over)
Spray a cooling rack with nonstick spray and set it in a half sheet pan lined with parchment.
Peel the ginger root and slice into 1/8-inch thick slices using a mandoline. Place into a 4-quart saucepan with the water and set over medium-high heat. Cover and cook for 35 minutes or until the ginger is tender.
Transfer the ginger to a colander to drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Weigh the ginger and measure out an equal amount of sugar. Return the ginger and 1/4 cup water to the pan and add the sugar. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar syrup looks dry, has almost evaporated and begins to recrystallize, approximately 20 minutes. Transfer the ginger immediately to the cooling rack and spread to separate the individual pieces. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Save the sugar that drops beneath the cooling rack and use to top ginger snaps, sprinkled over ice cream or to sweeten coffee.
As I mentioned before my Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie calls for it and it is always a major hit, no matter what season you are in. Now that
I have quite the stash, I will be doing some more experiments with this lovely spice.
Ginger also has some wonderful little medicinal benefits. Great for tummy aches, indigestion, diarrhea and cramping, motion sickness and morning sickness, Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties help relieve pain and reduce inflammation associated with arthritis, rheumatism and muscle spasms. Ginger’s also known to effectively stimulate circulation of the blood, removing toxins from the body, cleansing the bowels and kidneys, and nourishing the skin.
Share your favorite ginger recipes or medicinal healings. Happy Spring