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Gotta lotta lemon zest!

nooodles's is now Pei! Just wanted to let you guys know about the change; details on site talk.

Anyhow, I have a lot of lemon zest. Lots and lots. I suspect friend has a hybrid lemon/Buddha's hand tree. They're perfect for baking because recipes always seem to require more zest and less juice than a normal lemon yields. These lemons are tons of zest and just a little juice, so it's great.

I'm already thinking lemon poppyseed cake. Any other zesty ideas?

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  1. Toss a little in a Pasta dish it adds acidty and brightens the whole dish up without making it "Lemony"

    1. Yes! Here's an EXCELLENT recipe for lemon bars. This is the best one I've tried: (N.B. this recipe makes enough to feed a small army)

      CITRUS BARS (M. Stewart)

      3 1/2 cups plus 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
      1/2 cup wheat germ
      1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
      1 1/2 teaspoons salt
      4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
      8 large eggs
      4 cups granulated sugar
      3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
      3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
      1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
      1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest

      1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, whisk together 3 1/2 cups flour, wheat germ, confectioners’ sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until largest pieces are size of peas.

      2. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of an ungreased 17 1/2-by-12 1/2-inch rimmed baking pan. Bake until golden, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

      3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, and remaining 2/3 cup flour until combined. Whisk in lemon and lime juices, zests, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt until combined. Pour filling onto crust.

      4. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until center is set, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, and cut into bars approximately 3 by 2 inches. Bars can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day, then kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

      1. On the recommendation of someone else on this board (I'm sorry, I don't remember who), I made a pilaf with lemon zest and dill to go with salmon. It was delicious.

        1. You have to make a liqueur... I have a post on the Spirits board about it. I would love to get a hold of some of that hybrid lemon/Buddha's zest for a citronecello liqueur. If you make it now it will be ready for the end of summer.

          1. i'm currently working on a mojito sorbet in my freezer, and it calls for about twice as much zest as lime juice. i would definitely suggest lemon or lemon spiked sorbets. perfect for this weather and a great zingy treat anytime.

            these lemon poppy seed cookies are also fantastic (a la Marth Stewart) and take up a good amount of zest.

            1. Lemon zest adds real ooomph to lemon mousse. Also, lemon zest is a great addition to just about any green veg, salad or fruit salad. Lemon pound cake also benefits from the addition of lemon zest. And what about adding it to plain old lemon chicken?

              1. It's great in dressings for salads (fruit salads too).

                My lemon-thyme rice pilaf is delicious (freezes beautifully.)

                Also (I don't need to tell you), but it's lovely in ice cream. I've made an "ice cream" which calls for buttermilk and orange juice/zest and Grand Marnier. It was incredible--lemon would be a nice variation--with limoncello.

                1. Try a lemon version of the cheesecake ice cream, duh!

                  Freeze it, too. I freeze zest all the time and lose nothing in flavor.

                  1. Lemon zest, olive oil, parmesan, and minced fresh herbs (I like mint or basil) tossed into warm pasta is a feast for the senses. The aroma is incredible. Add halved cherry tomatoes if you desire.

                    And lemon zest in baked goods is very sensible, especially paired w/ summer fruits. Add just a little to cake, short crusts, pie fillings, cookies, quick breads to enliven. That reminds me that I need to make Sir Gawain's cake soon!

                    1. You could try making my key lime cake recipe, but with lemon instead. I'll try the search function to come up with a link.

                        1. I love lemon zest!

                          For a summer breakfast treat, I like to make lemon hotcakes smothered with fresh berries. I make a lighter than usual batter with all the usual fixings, including buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice. I then put a heaping pile of fruit (macerated with a bit of honey or just drizzle a little maple syrup) on top, add a sprinkle of icing sugar and a sprig of mint and voila. If you'd like the exact recipe, let me know.

                          1. Lemon Risotto... no juice, only zest. I have a fabulous recipe if you're interested!

                            1. Lemon risotto and lemon hotcakes both sound great! Please post if you have the recipe handy, or at least the ingredients.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Pei

                                Hi Pei - for the lemon hotcakes (more like souffle cakes), stir together 1 cup (scant) of buttermilk, 2 egg yolks, zest of 2 lemons, 2 tbsp. lemon juice and 1 tsp. vanilla. Then add 1 tbsp. melted butter. Next, sift together 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3 tbsp. sugar (superfine, if avail.), a pinch of salt and 1 tsp. baking powder. Make a well in the middle and pour in the liquid batter - stir to incorporate. Whip/whisk 2 egg whites until soft peaks form and then fold into batter. Cook in a lightly buttered non-stick pan, top with berries (macerated with honey or drizzled with maple syrup) and then dust with icing sugar. They're very light and fresh tasting. Enjoy!