Make No-Cook Fruit Syrups With Peels, Stems And Pits

Photo: Claire Lower

When it comes to fruit, it’s the flesh people want, but that flesh often clings to stems, pits, and peels, and tossing those bits means you’re tossing out flavour. Lucky for us, Queen of Sweets Stella Parks has a solution: Use these supposed scraps to make vibrant no-cook syrups.

Parks has made delicious syrups with lemon rinds, mango pits and peels, pineapple cores, and — most recently — cherry pits.

Though she has specific recipes with measure amounts (and seasonings!), you can make a syrup with pretty much any amount of stems, peels, and pits by coating them with half their weight in sugar. You let that situation hang out for at least three, but preferably 24, hours, then strain through a (non-reactive) fine mesh sieve. Splash the syrup into cocktails, pour it over ice cream, or get meta and serve it with more fresh fruit.

Beyond Parks’ brilliant recipes, this works with pretty much any fruit scraps. Just last night, after enjoying a delightful dish of strawberries and cream, I decided to try this trick with the juicy red fruits, and tossed the seven stems I had with enough sugar to coat.

Unsurprisingly, even without measuring a dang thing, it worked. The sugar drew out the juice from the fruit hanging out around the stem which, in turn, dissolved the remaining granules. This produced a pale pink, sweet strawberry syrup, which I consumed with some cottage cheese (and more strawberries) this morning.

Enthused by the results, I cut the stems off the remainder of my strawberries, just to make more syrup, which I will probably pour all over these pancakes, if I’m being honest.


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