Thursday, April 26, 2012

Making dried lemon/orange zest

Many recipes call for orange or lemon zest and I don't always have a fresh one around. The zest really adds a lot of flavor though so it is hard to just skip it in the recipe. I know you can purchase dried orange or lemon zest so a few years ago I decided to experiment with making my own. 

When you do have a fresh lemon or orange around, make as much zest as you can get. I spread it out on a plate. 

Leave the plate out on the counter overnight to allow the zest to dry. When thoroughly dry, package in a ziplock bag. Use about 1/3 of dried zest to replace fresh zest in a recipe. For example, when the recipe calls for 1 Tbsp of zest, use 1 tsp of dried zest.

My kids have had a hankering for lemon poppy seed muffins a lot lately. I tried just using lemon extract, but the lemon flavor wasn't strong enough. I bought some lemons the next time I was at the store and now I am stocked up on dried lemon zest and the kids have loved the muffins I've made with it.

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