I should probably clarify that title. There is no such thing as leftover pie. There’s pie for today, pie for tomorrow, and if you are REALLY lucky, pie for the day after. Pie does not languish in this house.
What I’m really referring to is the pile of apple peels leftover after you peel apples for pie (was that even grammatically correct?). It seems so wasteful, you know? I never peel an apple to eat out of hand. I leave them on to make applesauce (and fish ’em out later). But I will peel apples for pie. And in this case, it was apples from my Backyard Produce delivery. You know I’ve mentioned them already — I’ve been an enthusiastic subscriber since May and those weekly deliveries were an absolute godsend during my convalescence from the big bathtub fall. A gorgeous box of fruit and vegetables delivered to my home every Wednesday — what’s not to love?? So when Backyard Produce was looking for bloggers to develop recipes with their produce — you KNOW I was all over it! Interested in learning more about Backyard Produce? Please visit their main website or their Facebook page!
So I got an idea — there’s still a fair amount of flesh left on the peel — guess I’m not that good of a peeler? And there’s good flavor in the cores (that’s why we leave them in applesauce). So I decided to make a simple syrup with these leftovers — trying to wring out the last bit of flavor from these glorious apples.
Spiced Apple Syrup
Apple peels from at least 4 or so apples
Cores from those same apples
Cinnamon stick, and/or
Star anise, and/or
Ginger knob, sliced
Wash your apples well before peeling. Put the peels AND the cores in a pan and cover with water (use the apples for pie!). I had the peels from 5 medium-sized apples and I used 4 cups of water to cover. Add whichever whole spices you are using. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until the peels are pale and lifeless-looking and the cores are soft and mushy.
Allow to cool slightly, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Use a spatula to gently press liquid through — you’ll get a little cloudiness in your syrup but it’s worth it for the flavor! Discard the solids.
Rinse your pan. Or dirty a fresh one — your call. MEASURE the strained liquid and put into the pan. Measure an equal amount by volume of sugar and add to the pan. That means, if you had 2 cups of liquid, add 2 cups of sugar . Even though I started with 4 cups of water, I only had 2 cups of spiced apple liquid after straining. Bring the sugared solution to a gentle boil, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Boil gently for 1 to 2 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. Store covered in the refrigerator.
What does one DO with this amazing syrup? It makes a lovely, subtle homemade soda – a welcome change from the store-bought stuff. I think it would be amazing to sweeten an herbal tea. Or mixed with some lemon and hot water as a kid-friendly hot toddy. Drizzle over ice cream. Make cocktails!
Spiced Apple Soda
2 – 3 tablespoons spiced apple syrup
6 ounces seltzer
Put the ice in an appropriate-sized glass. Add the syrup. Pour the seltzer over. Stir gently. Consume immediately!
2 tablespoons spiced apple syrup
1 tablespoon Pama pomegranate liqueur
3 tablespoons silver rum
Put the syrup, liqueur, and rum into the bottom of a sturdy wide-mouth tumbler (“Old Fashioned” glass). Squeeze in your lime and throw the wedge in. Stir to combine. Add some ice and top off with seltzer.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Backyard Produce. I received compensation in exchange for developing these recipes. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.