Why It Works
- Pineapple cores are acidic enough to dissolve up to half their weight in sugar, imparting a strong flavor and vivid color without any added water, flavoring, or dye.
- A single lemon rind balances the natural sweetness of pineapple.
- The molasses-y notes in raw or semi-refined sugars add complementary complexity to the tropical fruit.
- Nonreactive equipment keeps the syrup's flavor clean and fresh.
Fresh pineapple is a luxury of its own, so make the most of it by putting the core (and eyelets) to good use in this fresh, no-cook syrup. The acidic juice in the fruit scraps is more than enough to dissolve the sugar, creating a thick and flavorful liquid. Plain or toasted sugar works well, but the complexity of raw or semi-raw sugar, like jaggery and palm sugar, or even turbinado and Demerara, is an especially good match for pineapple. Use this syrup as a mixer in your favorite cocktails, or for a pineapple twist on Lemon Chantilly and Crispy Candied Pistachios.
- 6 ounces diced pineapple core and pips (about 2/3 cup; 170g), from 1 medium pineapple
- 3 ounces (85g) "used" lemon or lime (the leftover rind after juicing), diced, from 1 medium citrus
- 4 1/2 ounces raw or semi-raw sugar (about a heaping 1/2 cup; 115g), such as jaggery, turbinado, Demerara, or palm sugar (see note)
Toss the pineapple and lemon rind with the sugar in a large glass, ceramic, or stainless steel mixing bowl. Cover tightly and let stand at room temperature, stirring once every 45 minutes or so, until sugar has completely dissolved, about 4 hours (or up to 12 hours if timing is an issue).
Strain fruit scraps through a fine-mesh stainless steel strainer set over a nonreactive bowl, pressing and mashing on the fruit with a flexible spatula to extract as much syrup as possible; discard scraps. Use immediately or refrigerate syrup for up to 3 months in a glass bottle or pint jar.
If the raw sugar is not in granular form, or if the crystals are especially large and coarse, grind the sugar in a food processor until the grain size is quite fine.