Questions & Answers - Lemon Zest, Lemon Zester
What is Lemon Zest?
Zest - The rich outermost part of the rind of an orange, lemon, or other citrus fruit, which can be used as flavoring. Freshly-grated orange, lime or lemon zest packs a flavor wallop no bottles dried zest can match. One of the easiest ways to infuse a citrus flavor into your baked goods is to add lemon, lime, or orange zest to the dish.
Lemon zest has an intense lemon/citrus flavor with very little bitterness. The bitterness is primarily found in the white part of the lemon (the white pith).
1 medium-size lemon = approximately 1 tablespoon of lemon zest = 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.
The peel of a citrus fruit contains two (2) top layers:
How To Zest Lemons:
Before zesting, scrub the fruit with a sponge and warm, soapy water. Rinse it well and dry it with a paper towel. When removing the skin from lemons or other citrus fruits, be sure to take off only the thin outer zest or colored portion (leaving the pith on the fruit). The white pith will give your dish a bitter under taste.
Lemon Zester (top of photo) - Traditional zester, which makes long, thin strands of zest, or a knife. Be sure to finely chop the strands with a knife. A tool for removing the zest of a lemon. A lemon zester allows one to remove the zest (and only the zest) in long strips. A zester has tiny cutting holes that create threadlike strips of peel.
Lemon Grater (such as the Microplane version - bottom of photo) - You will also note that many recipes call for grated zest or peel. In this case, use a fine grater to remove the peel. To zest with the Microplane, just rub the lemon in one direction against the little blades. Turn the lemon as you go so you remove only the yellow part.
Vegetable Peeler or Knife - If you do not have a zester or grater, use a vegetable peeler or a small, sharp knife. Carefully peel off a strip of the lemon skin, working top to bottom. Peel only the topmost layers of the skin. If there is any white showing on the underside (the pith), you've peeled too deep.
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