The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Best of Lemon Zest

CurlyCheff's picture
CurlyCheff

Best of Lemon Zest

How do you get the best Zest from your citrus on a large scale basis?  And is dehydrated (saves oodles of time for a bakery) zest anything near the goodness of the fresh stuff?

T. Fargo's picture
T. Fargo

  IMHO, dehydrating lemon zest removes the volatile oils that make it smell so good in the first place.   Using a micro-plane is also the best way if using in a gremolata or sauce, but if steeping in alcohol for something like Limoncello, I use a potato peeler being careful not to get much of the white pith.  incidentally, steeping in alcohol keeps the volatile oils happy and fresh, similar to an extractive.  When cooking with it, the alcohol evaporates leaving behind the fresh lemon flavor.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

a re-purposed plastic cup with a lid from the grocery.  It is then ready to go for my standard curd recipe.  I also freeze zest between layers of plastic wrap.  You learn strange things when you have citrus trees.  You never zest lemons for limoncello.  That would just clog up the sieve when you go to strain it.

T. Fargo's picture
T. Fargo

 That would just clog up the sieve when you go to strain it.

  Agreed.  Have you tried the peeler technique?  8 lemons, peeled into 1 Q mason jar, 3/4 filled with 80 proof quality vodka. 6 weeks on a shelf, then add simple syrup in the same amount as Vodka into a larger jar.  I age another 6 weeks before straining through cheesecloth into ice wine bottles.

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I preserve the peeled lemons in salt in another mason jar.  Great for moroccan chicken!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

the skins soaking for many, many months to well over a year.  I also make arancello the same way from my Minneola and naval orange trees.  I love to set by the pool and watch the unset with a Diet Squirt and Limoncrello cocktail or a Prickly Pear Arancello Margarita.  We also preserve everything around here, making tons of marmalade and preserved lemons.

The food banks quit taking citrus last year, now the poor don't get their vitamin C,  and that really makes it hard to get the fruit all used up.  My wife just took a couple of boxes to work to give them away and we still have half a crop that will go to the dump.  Sad really.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I grate the zest of every lemon and orange I use, wrap it into a little package of tin foil with the letter "L" or "O" on it, freeze it separately, and then keep the packages in a larger container in the freezer.

The zest keeps for months, and tastes like freshly grated.

Karin

dablues's picture
dablues

I freeze my orange zest and lemon zest like you do and haven't had any problems.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

think alike :)