Choose pale-coloured, large, soft and juicy roots, as they will give you the best results for crystallised ginger. Wash each root under water and slip the skin off with your fingers. If the skin doesn’t slip off easily, the ginger is too old for this recipe.
Slice the roots in such a way that each slice has a large surface area- a diagonal cut is often best. Make the slices about 4-5 mm (1/4″) thick. For a good amount of crystallised ginger you’ll need 500-700grams (1-1.5 pounds), this is usually about 6 roots. *HOT TIP* weigh before slicing, it’s much easier!
Cover with water and boil the ginger slices for around 10 minutes. Strain and reserve the liquid.
Now you’re going to boil the ginger again, but this time with sugar. Place the ginger in a saucepan, barely covered with hot water and add 1 cup of sugar for roughly every 500 grams of ginger that you started with. Boil for 5 minutes then turn off the heat. Keep the lid on and allow to cool. Strain off this sweet liquid and add to the previously reserved liquid. The liquid can be used for other recipes. See our longer article on ginger for ideas.
Spread the ginger on trays lined with baking paper to dry. For drying, either place the trays in a dry sunny spot or use a dehydrator. (if using a dehydrator, follow your own appliances’ guidelines. My large drier takes 1 -2 hours to dehydrate 4 shelves of product). Either way the ginger is ready when the outside feels dry but the inside still has that ‘tooth’ feel. Allow to cool completely.
Toss the ginger in some powdered icing sugar and store in an airtight container in a cool place. This ginger will be stronger than any you can buy in a store, yet so refreshing and energising. The anti-nausea properties of ginger have been known for centuries so a pack of homemade crystallised ginger is a nice gift for a sick friend.