When Caitlin is out of town, I find myself thinking of fun things to make for her, to welcome her back. These are, more often than not, sweets. This time, I wanted to do something different.
Early in our relationship, I had flown up to Washington, D.C. to spend the July 4th holiday with Caitlin. We had gone to the National Mall for the concert, featuring Barry Manilow, Aretha Franklin, and a host of other performers. We had gone to a Nationals game and walked around the shops of Georgetown. We had dinner in the city and then headed back to Silver Spring. After the holiday was over, I accompanied Caitlin as we drove her car from Silver Spring back to Saint Louis.
As we made our way through the mountains of West Virginia, I noticed that Caitlin kept snacking on something. Never one to turn down a snack, I inquired. And that’s when I learned about candied ginger. I might have used ginger at some point while cooking, but it was certainly sparingly and probably with some trepidation. After that car ride, I had a new appreciation for ginger.
Now, whenever I’m in the grocery store, I regularly pick up fresh and candied ginger. I’ve used ginger in my chai concentrate and gingerbread pancakes. It’s been featured in a pumpkin-ginger soufflé and lemon ice. It plays a prominent role in our pumpkin roulade – which became our go-to dessert this Fall.
Given Caitlin’s love of candied ginger, I decided to make my own batch.
HOMEMADE CANDIED GINGER
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 hour
YIELD: 2 cups of candied ginger
WHAT TO GRAB:
4 to 6 roots of fresh ginger (pick the roots with the fewest knots)
2 cups sugar
3 cups water
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. Cut the knots off of the ginger. Using the back of the knife, peel the ginger. Slice the ginger into thin disks.
2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and simmer the ginger for 10 minutes. Discard the water and rinse the ginger under cold water.
3. Place three cups of water and two cups of sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Add the ginger to the sugar water and simmer on low heat for 60 to 90 minutes. Remove the ginger from the heat and strain. *Reserve the ginger syrup to make ginger beer.
4. Pour a cup of sugar in a bowl. Once the ginger has cooled, toss the ginger pieces into the sugar, and then lay on a wire rack to dry. Let them dry for about four hours in a cool, dry place. If you notice that the ginger is seeping sugar, bake at 250 degrees for 10 minutes. Serve once completely dry and cooled!