A dear friend of mine, the late Zena Swerling, was a gifted cook. "Here's another can't-go-wrong recipe," she'd offer breezily, and although they always worked, they were never quite the same as when served by her.
Zena was a good, old-fashioned cook with a generous hand and heart. It was not always easy to interpret and annotate her recipes unless you were by her side in the kitchen.
Even then, it was difficult because she'd always insist you sit down instead for a little light five-course snack with a good helping of juicy gossip.
As Pesach is here again I'm pleased to share her recipe for ingber, an old-fashioned Ashkenazi carrot and ginger candy that too few have the patience to make any more.
Zena, I hope you're kvelling with pride.
To make 900g
● 450g Carrots, peeled
● 450g caster sugar
● 120g chopped almonds
● 2 heaped tsp ground ginger
● Finely grate the carrots in a processor and put them in the largest pan you possess.
● Add the sugar and stir over low heat until it dissolves. Cook very slowly (an asbestos mat helps), stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick (test by dropping a little onto a plate to see if it sets, like jam).
● Add the ginger and almonds as soon as it starts to harden. Remove immediately from the heat and spread the mixture onto a baking tray lined with silicone paper.
● As it cools, score the top into squares or diamonds, then break into pieces when cold.