Lemon Zest - Lemon Zester

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What is Lemon Zest?

lemons

lemon zest

What is 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:

The zest (the outermost part of the rind). On a lemon, zest is the yellow part of the peel (skin) on the outside of a lemon. The zest is shiny, brightly colored, and textured; it is the outer surface of the fruit which consumers can directly see.

The pith (the inner white, fibrous membrane directly below the zest which helps to protect the fruit inside).

 

Before Squeezing the juice out of fresh lemons, how about zesting them first?

How To Zest Lemons: If you are using a lemon for both zest and juice, grate the zest first and then squeeze the juice.

Wash the lemon first: Before zesting, scrub the fruit with a sponge and warm, soapy water. Rinse it well and dry it with a paper towel. 


Zesting and Grating Tips:
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.

When grating lemon peel, use this fast and easy trick. Cover the zest side of your grater with plastic wrap and grate the lemon over the plastic wrap (remember don't grate the bitter white pith that's under the peel). Most of the zest will remain on the plastic wrap and thus can't stick in the holes of the grater. Just pull the plastic wrap off and shake the zest onto a plate.

lemon zest

lemon zest

Storing Lemon Zest: Just place the lemon zest in one freezer bag and freeze until ready to use. This is so simple to do and so fantastic! You can also do this with Meyer lemons, oranges, limes, and grapefruit zest.

 

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.

lemon zester and lemon grater

vegetable peeler

Zesters Vegetable Peeler

 


lemon juiceLearn how to purchase, freeze, and store Lemons.

Learn How to Juice Citrus Fruits
Bottled lemon juice should be substituted only if fresh lemons are not available as there is no comparison in taste!

Lots of delicious Lemon Recipes.

 


 

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