Crystallized Ginger and Ginger Syrup

Crystallized Ginger

Crystallized Ginger

I love anything ginger and when it is crystallized ginger and ginger syrup, I can go overboard.

This is an easy way to make this as it is done in a crock pot, on low for 24 hours. There’s no chance of burning or scorching, just slow tender transformation of simple syrup and ginger into an amazing restorative treat.

Peel and slice the ginger into 1/4 inch slices. Cut it any way you want.

Make a simple syrup using equal parts of water and sugar. When the syrup comes to a boil, add the ginger and simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Then transfer the entire contents of the pot to a crock pot, set on low. Cover and let the magic take place for the next 24 hours.

Strain the ginger through a wire mesh strainer over a bowl to catch the syrup. Save that syrup!

Toss the drained ginger slices in granulated sugar,then spread it out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Place into a 200°F oven for a couple of hours to “dry” the ginger. If you don’t do this, the ginger will be wet and melt the sugar it gets rolled in to be stored.

Once dried, roll the ginger in granulated sugar to coat, cool completely. Once cool, bottle, label and store.

Crystallized Ginger is great for nibbling after a big meal

Crystallized Ginger is great for nibbling after a big meal

Cool the syrup and bottle it. Use it to make soda, pour over ice cream or flavor tea. One of my favorites is chamomile tea with ginger syrup. Try it! Ginger Martini, Ginger Champagne Cocktail. . .

Dice the crystallized ginger into small bits, add fennel seeds and dried organic orange peel (powder it) for a nifty digestive.

Nibble in a piece of crystallized ginger just before a trip where you may get queasy. (I always carry some when traveling!)

Digestive Blend is a combination of dried orange peel, powdered,fennel seeds and diced crystallized ginger

Digestive Blend is a combination of dried orange peel, powdered,fennel seeds and diced crystallized ginger

Use the ginger in cookies and baked goods; use it in a sauce for chicken or pork.

Crystallized ginger can be a bit on the pricey side and often, it’s not soft and tender. Make your own and not only save money, but have better quality crystallized ginger too.

Save the syrup! It's great to add to chai tea, pour over ice cream or make you own ginger ale

Save the syrup! It’s great to add to tea, pour over ice cream or make you own ginger ale

Advertisements

A Southern Staple: Simple Syrup

Bottle of simple syrup

This basic southern staple, simple syrup, is a must have in any kitchen or bar.

This style of syrup is used all over the world for lots of things, not just in the south.

It is, however the secret to true southern iced tea.

Simple syrup is easy and quick to make and there are endless ways to use it in the kitchen and bar.

Basic Simple Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water, enough to cover the sugar by 1/2 inch.
  • 3-4 drops lemon juice

Put sugar in a sauce pot

Add water to cover sugar by 1/2 inch; add 2-3 drops of lemon juice, stir

Bring to a boil; boil for 1-2 minutes

Place a ‘sign or symbol’ to signify pot is hot;
Put the pot away from accidents to cool

Method:

Put the sugar in a sauce pot, add water to cover the sugar by 1/2 inch. Stir well.

Place the pot over high heat; add the lemon juice and bring to a boil.

Stir, not constantly, but often enough to prevent scorching on the bottom.

Once the mixture comes to a boil, the sugar will turn clear. Allow to boil for 1-2 minutes, turn off.

Cool the mixture before transferring to a jar or bottle.

While the sugar syrup is cooling, put some kind of “sign or symbol” on the  handle so others know the pot and contents are hot and to leave the pot alone.

Use caution and place the pot well to the back of the stove out of harms way.

Sugar burns are very nasty and go really deep. Avoid at all costs, especially around children.

The syrup is shelf stable. Keep it handy to sweeten iced tea, lemonade, tea or coffee, use it over fresh fruit, in meringues, or even in marinades and specialty bar drinks.

You can infuse flavors into simple syrup, add a vanilla pod, lemon, lime or orange zest, fruit puree, basil, lavender, or mint for a few ideas. Be sure to strain the flavor elements out before using. The vanilla pods or herb leaves do look nice in the bottle.

My favorite way to use this syrup is to splash some into iced tea and top with a lemon wedge.

The perfect thirst quencher!

Iced Tea and Simple Syrup