Friday, August 5, 2011

Freezing Zest

It happens every winter... I want/need some zest to add zing to a dish (usually it's lemon zest) and I have no lemons on hand. It's not worth the gas to drive to town for just lemons especially if the weather is bad, so I do without. Bleck.

This year, with my success at freezing herbs, I am also freezing thin peels of lemon, lime and orange for zest. The orange zest will likely be used in desserts, not sure what I'll do with the lime zest... hot tea maybe. I thought about using my microplane to zest the fruit, but it's such fine zest that I'm not sure how it would hold up to freezing. With small peel sections, I can cut them into thin strips if I need to; besides, a lot sticks inside the microplane and I can never get it all out even with a pastry brush.

I sharpened and tried several of my knives; what worked best was a knife with a thin flexible blade that I use for filleting, shown above. I also found it easier to peel away from me except on the bumpy ends of the fruit. The knife doesn't really conform to the fruit, but the flexibility let me make slices thin enough to avoid cutting into the bitter pith.

After the zest was frozen, I vacuum-sealed it. Once I open one to use a bit of it, I will just bag the rest and put the bag in a small container with a lid back into the freezer.

It was easy to do, and worked so well (I tried some of the frozen orange zest in tea last month) that I may even buy one of those bags of hard, juiceless lemons just to freeze some more zest!

ps... I froze the now naked lemons, limes and oranges whole. I can cut off a wedge for juice anytime later on...


  1. Oh, you really need to get yourself some Lemon Ladies lemons. They are heavenly and available in January/February via their website (google is your friend here). They sell Meyer lemons. I made lemon curd with the juice, froze zest, and used some zest to make my own lemon extract. You'll love them!!

  2. Thanks! I will look into it... but a URL would be helpful.

  3. Kristen, My comment above sounds snippy, which I did not intend. I had just returned home from a long trip and I was tired and cranky. Sorry.

  4. No, it isn't snippy. No worries. I just shouldn't be reading blogs but rather getting something productive done.....but it is so darn HOT!!!

    Here's the link:


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