In her pastry chef days, “BraveTart” author Stella Parks often encountered a dilemma when she made lemon curd: a load of leftover citrus rind. “There’s only so much candied lemon peel you can make,” she says.
So she came up with a solution—lemon syrup. She quarters rinds, cuts them into chunks, tosses them with half their weight in sugar, then walks away until the next day. Once strained, the result is a potent, pale yellow syrup.
We found you can make a batch of syrup with as little as 3 medium lemons (juiced) and ½ cup white sugar. (In our testing, lemons with their peel produced a slightly sweeter syrup.) Chop the rinds, toss them with sugar and let them sit for up to three hours at room temperature, stirring occasionally, then strain. The recipe scales up easily. You can also use orange rinds, but halve the amount of sugar.
Parks uses the syrup for candied nuts, whipped cream and tossed berries. We also like it in cocktails, with soda water and on cakes.