Q. I love ginger and use it often in cooking, but find the cost of candied ginger prohibitive. I'd like to buy it fresh and do my own preserving by candying it. How do I go about that?
You mean $93 for a 4-ounce bottle of candied ginger in the supermarket is a little beyond your budget? Join the crowd. We have found it much more reasonably priced in bulk at a local health food store essentially 10 times the ginger for the supermarket price so you might like to call around to health-food stores and grocery co-ops to see if you can find an affordable version.
If you really want the joy of making it yourself, however, the following recipe can be used either for canning ginger or candying it:
From Joy of Cooking (Canada, UK), by Irma S. Rombauer & Marion Rombauer Becker.
This is either a single long-day or an intermittent four-day procedure. If you settle for one day, allow several hours between each of the four cookings.
Scrape and cut into 1/4-inch slices enough fresh nonfibrous young:
to make 1 quart. Put the slices into a large stainless steel pan and cover generously with:
Bring water slowly to a boil and simmer covered until tender, about 20 minutes. Add:
1 cup sugar and stir until mixture boils. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.
Recook, simmering gently for about 15 minutes after the ginger has again come to a boil. Add:
1 seeded sliced lemon
1 cup light corn syrup
Uncover and simmer 15 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let stand covered overnight. During the third cooking, the ginger must be stirred often to avoid scorching. Bring the syruped ginger to a boil. Stir in:
1 cup sugar
Simmer 30 minutes. Stir in:
1 cup sugar
and bring mixture again to a boil. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand overnight.
In the fourth cooking, bring the mixture to a boil once more. When the syrup drops heavily from the side of a spoon and the ginger is translucent, pour the mixture into sterile widemouthed jars. Seal, using a hot-water bath. You should now have about 5 cups of Canton Ginger.
Should you want Candied Ginger, drain the ginger after the last cooking. Reserve the syrup for flavoring sauces. Dry the ginger slices on a rack over a tray, uncovered, overnight. When well dried, roll the slices in:
Store in tightly covered glass jars.
Yield: 5-1/2 pints preserved
How to store ginger
Making ground ginger
How to grate ginger