Saturday, February 22, 2014
Use It Up: Orange Syrup
Many things are tossed into the garbage can when they still have lots of good life left in them. Use It Up is a section on how to use this "trash" to make new, useful items for your home or to re-purpose items to avoid a purchase.
Whenever I eat citrus, I dry all those peels, knowing that someday, somehow I'll use them. Today I found that use. I was making homemade syrups and wanted to try some new flavors. An AHA! moment! What about an orange syrup for teas, coffees, drizzling over desserts, or mixing with sangria?
I made a simple syrup using one part white sugar with one part water. I put it in a saucepan on medium heat and stirred it together until the sugar dissolved. I dumped in some orange peel pieces and let it simmer. I stirred it often so that it didn't burn and heated it until it thickened and the volume had decreased by about a fourth. I let a spoonful cool and tasted it. Perfection. I strained the orange peels and was left with a bright, cheery syrup.
I was about to dump the spent orange peels into the compost container when I decided to taste one. It was incredible. Sweet, bitter and citrusy. I nibbled on them as a snack throughout the day. If I have any left the next time I make orange scones, those will be a perfect add in. They would also be nice in cranberry orange muffins, on top of ice cream (especially a sunday drizzled with the orange syrup!), in oatmeal or in pancakes.