My husband Nick is a big fan of candied ginger, so I used to purchase it for him at a fancy candy store. But this was reserved for special occasions because it was quite expensive, and each package only contained a small amount.
So, to treat him for Easter this year I decided to make him some myself. And wow, were we ever happy with the results. He loved it and kept exclaiming that he couldn’t believe that I had made it.
And you know what? I was very easy to do! Anyone can make delicious candied ginger at home. All it takes is time, in that it has to dry out in a single layer, overnight before you put it in a jar. (I had to hide mine on the top of the bookcase in the guest room. I was certain he would discover it because the room smelled delightfully of ginger. But he didn’t find it and was completely surprised to receive it on Easter morning.)
I made a pound of ginger, but the recipe can easily be doubled. To give you a feel for how much ginger makes up a pound, the plate I have the peeled ginger on is a sandwich place, which is seven inches across.
2 cups of white sugar + about 3 tablespoons (optional)
Peel ginger. I discovered that using the curved end of a spoon it helpful for this, although I went between the spoon and my regular vegetable peeler.
Cut ginger into slices, the thinner the better. I found sharpening my knife before proceeding to be helpful. It doesn't matter what direction you cut in (it can be against the grain for some and with the grain for some, as long as it is thinly sliced).
Add ginger to a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer ginger for about 45 minutes. Drain. (Reserve the water and drink as tea. It's strong but quite nice.)
Add 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water to saucepan, and add cooked ginger. Simmer, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes.
At this point ginger can be stored in the fridge right in the syrup, but I wanted to dry mine out, so I drained it. (You can reserve the sugar water for another use if you want.)
Lay out in a single(ish) layer on a rack, or if you don't have one that will work, lay it out on parchment paper, but you'll have to turn it every once in a while so it dries on both sides.
After about an hour, while it is still sticky, you can toss it in the extra 3 tablespoons of sugar, or not, if you think it's already sweet enough.
Allow to dry completely, before putting it into a tightly sealing jar. Mine took at least 24 hours to dry out.