Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say. I am obsessed (need to come up with a new word, sorry) with the Trader Joe’s Ginger Spread. I probably go through a jar of the stuff a week (I put in on that infamous peanut butter and banana sandwich every morning, getting more interesting by the minute, and there are other variations as well, stay tuned I’m sure I’ll write it all down at some point). But, as with, it would seem, everything that I fall in love with at Trader Joe’s, they’ve taken it away! =( It may very well be that it is a seasonal spread and they’ll be bringing it back next year some time, that’s what happened last year, but I am so disappointed that I can’t get it anymore and what am I to do in the interim? Well, I will just have to make my own! This is really the simplest recipe you’ve ever come across, I am not kidding! I came home on Saturday this weekend and decided that I had had enough of the bland sandwiches sans ginger and I was tired of ripping up the crystallized ginger I have and trying to artfully distribute it across the bread. Too much work! So I did an internet search for ginger jam. I came across a couple of recipes and they all required a lot of peeled fresh ginger, something I definitely don’t enjoy doing (though I suck it up for my carrot ginger dressing, I mean you can’t live without that stuff, I swear!). It takes a lot of time and it’s rather messy. The recipes also called for adding in an apple, which sounds good, but I wanted to replicate the ginger spread from TJ’s as closely as possible and theirs is definitely ginger through and through. These few recipes I was looking at all called for boiling down the ginger and apples with sugar and water. Well, I thought, the crystallized ginger already has the sugar in it and what if I just add water to it and boil it for a bit on the stove? That might be just what I’m looking for. So here’s what I did.
Easiest Ginger Jam Ever!
~ ½ lb crystallized ginger
1 cup water
Put crystallized ginger into cuisinart and pulse / puree until it starts to form balls on the sides and is well chopped. I tried to aim for about a cup of chopped up ginger at this point, but it all depends on how much of the spread you want to make. Add this to a small saucepan with 1 cup of water on medium heat. Bring to boil and then simmer for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour until the spread has reached a much thicker consistency. The longer you boil it the thicker it will be. This doesn’t have exactly the same smoothness as the commercial spreads, it still has small chunks of ginger in it, but it’s wonderful, and perhaps most importantly for my purposes and perhaps yours, it’s spreadable. Enjoy!