Follow me in my “How to Not Waste Food” blog series as I share ways to make the most of stuff you’d probably just throw away.
The amount of apples my family goes through during fall and early winter is embarrassing. Between large batches of roasted applesauce and my toddler who, if I’m not looking, will sneak four or five from the counter on a daily basis, it’s no big thing to find me ankle-deep in discarded apple peels and cores. I’ve gotten into the habit of keeping a large bag in the freezer specifically for apple and pear cores, and as I slice apples for snacks or remove the core for cooking, I just pop them in the bag and freeze them until I have enough for a large batch of this stuff.
There are many ways to use apple cores, but agrodolce, the Italian sweet and sour sauce that more people should know about, is one of my favorite. You can find near infinite variations on it, but it’s usually a simple sauce of vinegar and sugar, often flavored with fruit. I love this stuff on meats, in salad dressings, and as a fun counterpoint in certain desserts. Its versatility means you can use different sugars, vinegars, and fruits (and vary the amounts of each) to achieve different flavors. Here, I keep things firmly in both Paleo and AIP territory and use a mixture of apple and pear cores with coconut sugar and honey; I also love adding a bay leaf and a small shallot to ground the flavor a bit.
How does it taste? Good enough that my littles fought over who could lick the plate in the lead photo clean.
How to Not Waste Food: Agrodolce
15 apple cores, or a mixture of apple and pear cores (add some peels in there, if you have them to use)
1 cup white wine or apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup coconut sugar or granulated sugar
1/4 cup mild honey
1 small shallot, peeled and cut in half
1 bay leaf
1 cup water
1. Place all ingredients in a small pot. You may need to add a splash of extra water and vinegar to bring the water level to at least 3/4 of the way up the cores, but don’t worry about covering them completely as they will slump as they cook.
2. Bring the liquid to a boil, then immediately turn the heat down to a simmer and let cook for about an hour.
3. Place a strainer over a medium bowl and pour the contents of the pot through the strainer. Don’t press on the solids, but give them a shake to get all the available liquid into the bowl. Pour the liquid back into the pan and turn the heat back to a simmer.
4. Continue cooking, reducing the liquid until it’s roughly the consistency of thin maple syrup. Let it cool, then store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.