About a month ago I harvested the ginger that was growing in a planter on my deck. I ended up with a pound and a half of root. Since then, I've added the spice to many dishes. I peeled, grated, and froze some. I offered pieces to Sons Brian and Donald. Still, there was an impressive-sized bowl in my refrigerator. Recently the root's been looking a bit wrinkled, and I knew it was time to do something about it. After a bit of Google searching, I decided I'd make candied ginger.
Making candied (also know as crystallized) ginger is a simple process. The ingredients are minimal (ginger, sugar, and water) as is the equipment (saucepan, wooden spoon, kitchen scale, cookie sheet lined with waxed paper, and cooling rack).
Peel the ginger, then slice it. (Some recipes suggested a mandoline, which I don't have. I used a food processor, which made thicker slices.) Put the slices into a saucepan, and add water to cover. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cook until it's translucent and tender. (Mine took 75 minutes. During the cooking process my kitchen smelled fantastic!)
When the ginger is tender drain it, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Weigh the ginger, and measure out an equal amount of sugar. Put ginger, liquid, and sugar back into the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the syrup thickens, about 20 minutes.
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper, and put a cooling rack on top of it. One at a time, remove the ginger pieces from the syrup with a fork (they'll be very sticky) and arrange them on the rack. Let the excess syrup drip off, then roll the ginger in more sugar. Dry it for several hours or overnight. It will become dry and crusty on the outside, but soft on the inside like a gumdrop.
According to my sources, the candied ginger should be good for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. I don't know if it will last that long, though. I've been eating a few pieces each night after dinner, and plan on adding some to the next batch of granola.