One of my favorite things about Fall is the wonderful local apples that are available here in Maryland. My new favorite is the Cortland. It is tart, crisp and wonderful for cooking. I spent several days recently cooking up batches to put in the freezer. I don't make applesauce, but keep the chunks intact for a wonderful winter side-dish.
It was really bothering me to throw away all of those peelings. So I did a little research and discovered that you can cook them down to make syrup. I experimented until I got the recipe just right.
Apple Peel Syrup
6 Cups Water
6 1/2 Cups Sugar
Peelings from @ 18 apples
Cinnamon to taste
Bring all four ingredients to a boil in a large stockpot. Stir until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until peels lose their bright color. (Approximately 10 minutes.) Remove apple peels with tongs or a slotted spoon. Continue simmering until mixture has reduced by half. Test consistency by dipping a spoon into the mixture and then rubbing your finger across it. You will be able to tell when it has thickened. Cooking time will vary. You may can this in sterile jars or let it cool and keep in the refrigerator. Yeild 5-6 half-pints.
Please note that I am by no means an expert canner. For directions on canning please do your research. I reccommend the Ball Blue Book of Canning and Preserving.
This syrup is especially tasty when paired with Cinnamon-Pecan Pancake Mix.
Cinnamon-Pecan Pancake Mix
3 Cups of your favorite pancake mix
2 1/4 Cups Water
2 T Cinnamon
1/2 Cup finely chopped Pecans
This makes 18-22 pancakes. If you want to package the mix for a gift, combine the dry ingredients and add to a Quart jar (fits nicely). Make sure to add a tag that explains the number of servings and how much water to add.