Candied Ginger, a Recipe With a Thousand Uses
Candied ginger, a delicacy at your fingertips
Candied ginger can be considered a snack. Obviously it has little to do with industrial snacks, of mainly American origin. Candied ginger is a snack that belongs to tradition, a fixed presence of fairs, markets and stalls. Many tasted it for the first time during the classic patronal and village festivals, perhaps choosing it among other candied fruits. Among other things, the candying of fruit has very ancient origins, indeed until a few centuries ago, candying fruit was almost the only way to guarantee a walking treat.
Candied ginger is, therefore, a "timeless" treat, equal to itself for hundreds of years (the recipe has not changed, not since sugar became common). The good news is that it can be made at home very easily, so you can always have your snack on hand. The procedure is almost trivial since it involves cooking the ginger first by itself and then in a solution of water and sugar, in order to caramelize it. The result is very pleasing to the eye and palate. It has a particularly bright yellow, while the flavour is both sweet and aromatic.
The thousand uses of candied ginger
Candied ginger can be considered a snack or a walking foot, but it is not the only use that distinguishes it. There are many others, as some traditional recipes testify. These obviously belong to the confectionery sphere, since we are talking about a distinctly sweet preparation. In more traditional cakes, candied ginger and candied fruit, in general, are used to decorate, or even to form a decorative cover. However, candied ginger can also be used to prepare the classic fruit tarts.
Which sugar to use to prepare ginger?
Also in this case, the effectiveness of the candied ginger recipe is given by the quality of the ingredients. As far as ginger is concerned, there is little to say, as it is a tendentially uniform product. All the types of ginger you can ever buy have the same characteristics, that is, they have a particular flavour, a little pungent but at the same time aromatic. They are rich in antioxidants and substances that guarantee a certain anti-inflammatory action. As for sugar, however, the question is different. There are several types around, and these are distinguished by the quality of the raw material and the production process.
In this case, candied ginger does not form the cover, but the filling. It is mixed with the other ingredients of the filling to give it a more pronounced aroma (very often it enriches the filling based on apples and pears). The result is also very pleasant in this case. Obviously, it is necessary to go slowly with the doses, in fact, the taste of candied ginger is very strong and there is a real risk that it covers the other ingredients. For greater uniformity, then, it is good to grate it, an operation that is quite successful, since the pieces of candied ginger are generally quite rigid.
Here is the recipe for candied ginger:
- 600 g fresh ginger;
- 500 g granulated sugar;
- 1,5 lt. of water.
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It is obvious to say that the sugar to be used is the "good" one. It is necessary to make a choice regarding the type: I opted for granulated sugar, that is, for classic sugar. Its solubility is, in fact, optimal, therefore it allows to reduce the preparation times. Furthermore, not being particularly fine, it also has an aesthetic impact, being fully visible when applied on the surface of the sugar candy.
For the preparation of candied ginger, start by peeling the ginger with the potato peeler and passing it under running water to clean it of any residues. Then dry it and cut it into thin slices. Put the slices in a saucepan and fill it with cold water until it exceeds the level of the ginger by at least 5 cm. Bring to a boil, then put the lid on and cook over low heat for about 40-45 minutes. After this period of time, you will end up with very soft ginger. Drain it and put it back in the pot. At this point add the sugar (more or less equivalent to the weight of the ginger) and cover with the water without exaggerating.
Now stir to melt the sugar well and turn back on over low heat for about an hour. Heat until the ginger is transparent and the liquid has not taken on the consistency of a very thick syrup. Continue to stir, then drain the ginger using a slotted spoon and place it on the granulated sugar sprinkled on a baking paper. Cover the ginger well by waving more sugar over it. Then let it dry and store the candied ginger in an airtight jar.
Note for celiacs or gluten-sensitive
Always check that the ingredients you use for the preparation of your recipes are suitable for coeliacs and people sensitive to gluten. Check the barred ear, the presence on the Association of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS) or the indications on the manufacturer's label.
Note for lactose intolerant
From the ministerial note: The word "delactosate" has been eliminated, as previously associated with the word "dietetic". The term lactose-free may be used instead for dairy products and for milk with a lactose content of less than 0.1 g per 100 g or ml.
Note for nickel intolerance
Whether you are intolerant to food nickel, allergic to contact nickel or have been diagnosed with you SNAS there is no definitive cure and there is no way to eliminate this metal from a person's life. To alleviate the symptoms it is necessary to follow a low nickel rotating diet and observe all the rules relating to cosmetics, detergents, pots and pans, suitable clothing etc.
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