“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.” The Temptations
Some recipes are more fun than others. This is one of the fun ones — and the result is sugary bits of gold that are effectively candied sunshine.
You can enjoy it all winter long — minced on top of baked goods, sweet potatoes or even meat dishes. Or, if you are the kind of eater who enjoys the heat of wasabi peas, you might like a piece or two as candy. Ginger is a natural treatment of nausea, by the way.
And, given the season, it’s good to remember that jars of candied ginger make an excellent small gift.
Peel any amount of fresh ginger. (A pound will make about a 2 pints of candied ginger. ) There are many on-line tutorials on how to peel ginger. I prefer using a paring knife and breaking the nodules so that there aren’t nooks and crannies to work around. Cut the peeled ginger into 1/8-inch slices using a knife or a mandolin.
Place the slices in a sauce pan, cover with water and cook for 35 minutes at high heat. Reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water, drain the ginger in a strainer.
Weigh the ginger and return it to the sauce pan along with the 1/4 cup water. (You need a kitchen scale, admit it!) Add the same weight of white sugar and heat the mix at medium-high heat — stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue stirring until the syrup looks dry and begins to re-crystalize.
Remove from heat. Spread the candied bits onto a wire rack or waxed/ parchment paper until completely cooled. Store in airtight jars at room temperature. Enjoy as a very spicy candy or mince onto anything from dessert to meat to veggies.