Historical Candied Ginger
“’There is a gift for the boy in one of the chests. Some candied ginger. He was always fond of it.’ Illyrio sounded oddly sad.” -A Dance with Dragons
Modern Candied Ginger
Rustic, simple, and quite sweet, the historical candied ginger is as wonderful straight as it is added to tea. The texture appears to be quite hard, but dissolves and crumbles nicely in the mouth. Despite the relatively small amount of ginger, the finished Georgian candies have a wonderful zip to them, without the same overpowering ginger as actual slices.
Quite their opposite, the modern recipe produces candied ginger that will set one’s mouth on fire. They are the more easily recognizable candied ginger that one can find in many stores, but I’ve never encountered any with this much bite.
Personally, I preferred the more mild gingeriness of the older recipe, although true ginger fans will love the modern.
Georgian Candied Ginger Recipe
Beat two pounds of fine loaf sugar, put one pound in a tossing pan with as much water as will dissolve it, with one ounce of race ginger grated fine. Stir them well together over a very slow fire till the sugar begins to boil, then stir in the other pound and keep stirring it till it grows thick, Then take it off the fire and drop it in cakes upon earthen dishes. Set them in a warm place to dry and they will look white and be very hard and brittle. -The Experienced English Housekeeper, 1769
Cook’s Note: I’ve halved the original recipe. It will still make a large batch of candies, approximately 30-40 candy discs.
- 1 lb. sugar
- water, about 1/4 cup
- 1/2 oz. grated ginger
Boil half the sugar in just a splash of water, with the grated ginger. When it comes to a boil, add the other half of the sugar. Stir until the whole mixture thickens. You may need to add the whole 1/4 cup of water to maintain a smooth, spoonable texture.
After about 3-4 minutes, remove from heat, and spoon the mixture into small rounds on your prepared baking sheet.
Modern Candied Ginger Recipe
- a large fresh ginger root, about 5″ long
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup more for dusting
Spray a cooling rack with nonstick spray and set it in a half sheet pan lined with parchment. Peel the ginger root and slice into rounds about 1/8″ thick. Put these and the water into a saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat for around 20-30 minutes, or until the ginger is tender. Keep an eye on the water level. To this same pan, add the sugar, turn the heat down to medium, and continue to cook. After about 5 minutes, turn off the heat. Fish out the ginger slices, allowing the excess syrup to drip off. Toss these with fresh sugar until they are coated, and place on the cooling rack to harden. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Save the syrup, as it is a wonderful addition to cocktails and tea.