Fruit Syrup from "Garbage"

I learned a neat trick last weekend. In keeping with Monday's theme of using as much of the produce we grow or buy as actual food, I learned to make fruit syrup from stuff I'd normally throw away.
One afternoon's worth of canning, including peach syrup (in the small, dark jars in front), peaches (the lighter jars on the sides), and apricots.
I canned peaches, which means I first had to peel and pit the fruit. But instead of throwing the pits in the garbage can and the skins in the compost bin, this year I saved them in the fridge. Later, I added water and sugar to make delicious peach syrup - perfect for adding to iced tea or salad dressings, sprucing up pork, and drizzle over ice cream. When I can pears and apples next month, I plan to save the cores and peels for more fruit syrups.

Here's how to do it. (Before you begin, you may wish to review the general instructions for using a boiling bath canner.)

What You Need:

about 8 cups fruit peels and pits (or cores)
6 to 7 cups water
approximately 4 cups granulated sugar

Large non-reactive pot
Mesh strainer or jelly strainer
Large bowl
Small bowl or saucer
Boiling bath canner
9 oz. canning jars
Canning lids and screw bands
Jar lifter
Plastic handled utensil (like a spoon)
Cooling rack or bath towel

How to Do It:

1. Pour the fruit peels and pits (or cores) into the large non-reactive pot. Add the water. (In this case, I reused the water I'd used to blanch the peaches, since it already had a lovely peach color.) Bring to a boil.

2. Boil until the peelings are tender.

3. Place the strainer over the large bowl and ladle some of the mixture into it. Allow the liquid to drain into the bowl, and press down on the solids to extract more liquid. Once you've done this, you can throw all the solids in your compost pile; however, pits take a long time to decompose, so I suggest throwing those in the trash.
4. Measure the liquid, then return it to the large pot. Bring to a boil.

5. Add half as much sugar as you did fruit juice and reduce the heat to medium. Boil gently until the desired consistency is reached. I cooked mine for 2 hours. Don't expect this syrup to be thick like maple syrup; it will be more liquid-y.

6. When the peach syrup seems close to being ready, sanitize 9 oz. canning jars by filling the canner with water, adding the jars, placing the lid on the canner, and bringing the water to a boil. Boil the jars for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium or medium low and remove the canner lid until you're ready to fill the jars.

7. Prepare the lids by placing them in a saucepan, covering them with water, and letting them gently simmer.

8. Ladle the fruit syrup into a prepared canning jar, leaving 1/4 in. headspace. A funnel makes this job less messy. Wipe the edges of the jar with a clean cloth. Remove air bubbles. Place a lid on the jar, then add a jar band. Place the jar in the canner. Repeat with the remaining jars.

9. Put the lid on the canner, increase the heat, and process the jars for 10 minutes.*

* NOTE: If you live at a high altitude, read this important information about adjusting canning times.


  1. That sounds great! Would the syrup be good for pancakes/French toast/waffles? We like fruit syrups on those sometimes instead of maple syrup.

    When I finally start canning, I'll have to remember this trick. :)

  2. Liberty, sure. But don't expect it to be thick, like maple syrup. It sure is yummy, though!

  3. Real, homemade maple syrup isn't all that thick either. It's the added corn syrup (which I do NOT believe is the devil, like many people do) that makes commercial syrups thick. Some of them even have starches added (which is just silly, really).

    Great ideas!

  4. I have heard of this before, but I never remember to save things until too late.