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HOW TO KEEP ORANGE / LEMON ZEST?

needtoknowkk's picture

Frequently in recipes you require 1 - 2 Tablespoons of orange or lemon zest, which may take half of the rind off an orange. By the time you need the rest of the orange zest it has hardened. Can you prepare lots of zest at a time and freeze it into tablespoon portions? Will freezing change its flavour & texture? Or is there a 'citrus zest' paste you can purchase to keep in the fridge for months at a time?

Dashx's picture

Freezing Zest (post #70776, reply #1 of 6)

I'vre tried the dried zest and was very disappointed.  I've used it as is, and by adding juice, and neither was satisfactory.

What I do is after grating the zest, I put it in a small ziplock bag with some mashed frozen juice (NOT thawed or reconstituted), just enough to cover the zest.  The total yield is usually less than 3 tablesoons.  I then freeze it.  When I need some, I break off a piece, and let it thaw, and strain it if necessary, if there is too much juice.  It is not quite as strong as fresh, due to the essential oils in the zest being slightly diluted.

Gretchen's picture

I can't cut and paste here (post #70776, reply #2 of 6)

I can't cut and paste here for some reason, but a site suggested putting the zest in an airtight container with several teaspoons of sugar which apparently keeps it fresh and "oily"/moist.

Gretchen
ICDOCEAN1's picture

Zest (post #70776, reply #3 of 6)

Out of sheer laziness, I freeze halved lemons and limes and zest as I need them.  Works for me.

kitchengoddess's picture

Freezer (post #70776, reply #4 of 6)

I typically zest citrus before I juice them.  Then I have kept it in a ziploc bac in the freezer.  I haven't had a problem with flavour when I have used it.

Dylpup's picture

I freeze the zest in the (post #70776, reply #5 of 6)

I freeze the zest in the smallest rubbermaid container I have--1/2 cup. I fill up the air space with crumpled plastic wrap to minimize the ice crystals. At first I used waxed paper but I think it wicked the oil out of the zest. I buy  bags of lemons and limes when in season at Costco and do a whole batch of zest and juice (frozen in cubes). Sure makes it easy to add just a spoonful to a recipe.

gardencat's picture

Sweet or Savoury? (post #70776, reply #6 of 6)

For sweet applications, I store the rest of the zest in a glass jar in the fridge, covered with sugar. I shake it up so the sugar coats the zest. It keeps for years if necessary. Just scrape some out with a spoon or fork and adjust the sugar in the recipe accordingly. The zest stays soft and very tasty!

For savoury applications, I freeze it in a little of the juice--you usually have both left over in my experience.