Delicious Medicine

February 22nd, 2009

Winter. Ugh. I’m so over it. Aside from the gray, dreary skies, the frozen, dirty ground, the dry, itchy skin and ALL THAT SNOW, there’s a ton of nasty viruses giong around. Pretty much everyone I know has been sick lately, mostly all with stomach issues. I was sick a while ago with one of those viruses. No fun at all.

What if a spoonful of sugar IS the medicine?

What if a spoonful of sugar IS the medicine?

One of the most effective things I tried to calm my stomach was ginger tea. Lots and lots of ginger tea. If I had had some of this crystallized ginger at the time, I would have been nibbling on it in between cups.

How about a paper cup-ful of the sweetest, hottest medicine?

How about a paper cup-ful of the sweetest, hottest medicine?

I really enjoy candying things (and making candy in general), and I REALLY love ginger, so I knew I had to try making my own crystallized ginger. It’s different from the big, juicy slices of candied ginger you find in the store most of the time – the ginger is sliced very thinly and is chewy and dry with huge, crunchy crystals of sugar. I think I may have used too much sugar since I don’t have a scale and just guessed at the amount. It was still really fun and something I definitely will make again and again. I’d love to try making the big, thick, juicy kind of candied ginger, too.

Crystallized Ginger (recipe from Alton Brown)

Just looking at this makes me want to go eat more.

Just looking at this makes me want to go eat more.

1 lb. fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly

5 cups water

1 lb. sugar (approximately – you want equal weight cooked ginger and sugar)

Place ginger and water in a 4 qt. saucepan, cover and cook over medium-high heat for 35 minutes, or until ginger is tender. Transfer the ginger to a colander to drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid (I set aside as much as possible and reboiled some with extra sugar to make ginger syrup). Combine the ginger, 1/4 cup ginger water and sugar in the saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce the heat to medium. Keep stirring almost constantly until the syrup dries up (about 20 minutes) and sugar is recrystallized. Quickly transfer the ginger to a greased cooling rack over a pan and separate the pieces. If your syrup has completely dried up you will probably have to break pieces apart and remove excess gigantic sugar crystals (like I did). Once completely dry and cool, store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

I’m thinking I might chop some of these up for the second monolithic carrot cake I’m working on. Once I make them chewier, they’d be great for dipping in dark chocolate.

8 Responses to “Delicious Medicine”

  1. Yes! I don’t like Winter either, I always get sick and my skin feels so dry and itchy. Hubby is crazy over crystallised ginger and I’ve often wondered what it would be like to crystallise it. Yours looks great!

  2. very good blog, congratulations
    regard from Reus Catalonia
    thank you

  3. Maggie says:

    The stomach sicknesses are going around here too and I’ve been drinking ginger tea. I buy candied ginger all the time but really should give making my own a try. I like the idea of having it chewy and dry.

  4. I had an upset stomach a few days ago and ate some of my stash of crystallized ginger–it helped a lot. Then I ate some pizza. That’s how good I felt. Then I needed more ginger–vicious cycle :lol:

  5. Ohhh Anna! Yet another reason I love you!

  6. finsmom says:

    This really does look yummy! Thanks for sharing! I really love ginger!

  7. Jude says:

    Mmm candied ginger. Never thought of making this but I definitely should. It’s costing me a small fortune buying this regularly from the local spice shop.

  8. andrea says:

    yummy, this is great to nibble on when taking a long boat trip or plan ride, too. it makes your tummy feel all better :)

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