Fresh citrus zest is a great ingredient for many recipes, but on occasion, you might find yourself short on the flavor gold. This sucks big time, But did you know theirs a way to always have the stuff on hand, as fresh as the day you shaved it off the lemon? That simple easy to do method is freezing!
Can you freeze lemon zest?
Yes, you can! And it’s easy too! Freezing zest is a very good way to preserve it.
If you have a lot of citrus zest leftover from lemon, lime or orange recipes, or even if you just like to eat a lot of zest, try freezing it for later use. It’s also a huge time saver when you in the kitchen and need some zest in a pinch.
How to freeze lemon zest
- -Wash your fruit and dry it thoroughly. It’s super important that it’s been dried off very well before zesting.
- -Zest the fruit with a zester or the finest holed grater you have.
- -Don’t go too deep, just take the first layer off. White = bitter and flavorless.
- -Lay a paper towel or clean cloth, or parchment paper on top of your counter, as you would for sugaring fruit for pies and tarts. You can also use a cookie tray.
- -Spread the zest out thinly over the sheet or pan, And quickly freeze it for 20 minutes (or longer if required). This will prevent it from sticking together.
- -Transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag, label it with the date and store in your freezer until you need some zest again.
And that’s how to freeze lemon zest. It’s super easy, right?
What are some of the reasons I should freeze zest?
- -Citrus zest will stay fresh longer if frozen.
- -If you’re going to bake or cook with citrus and want a more subtle flavor, add in some of the frozen zest right at the end for an extra punch. (Add an extra half teaspoon for every 1 teaspoon called for to compensate for ice buildup).
- -Since you froze it before bagging it, and it won’t stick together, You don’t need to worry about thawing it first no matter how you use it!
Dried citrus zest vs fresh (or frozen)
Dried citrus zest is a great way to have the taste of fresh, but without wasting any. It’s also affordable and has more concentrated flavor than its fresher counterpart. However, keep in mind that dried lemon peel does not contain as much Vitamin C as a fresh one. As well, if using dried orange or tangerine peels for cooking (such as baked goods), you’ll want to add about an extra tablespoon worth because they will rehydrate better than their frozen counterparts!
Frozen has the advantage of lasting for a long time without the worry of it going bad. It’s also more versatile, as you can use frozen lemon zest in both sweet and savory dishes!
- -If your recipe doesn’t require any cooking (like iced tea) feel free to just garnish with some fresh or dried citrus for flavor at serving time.
- -For recipes that do require cooking (such as baked goods), Frozen is generally considered better than dehydrated, Although fresh off the lemon is preferred by most of course.
If you would like to dehydrate your lemon zest yourself, that’s easy too! Check out our article on dehydrating lemon zest for easy instructions.
Freezing lemon zest is a great way to keep the flavor of lemons for later use. Whether you’re cooking or baking, frozen has many advantages over fresh in terms of versatility and shelf life!