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Freezing Lemon Zest?

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It's that time of year when the little tree in my yard is still yielding fruit, and it seems like almost everyone I know in California is trying to give away lemons. I've already salted a couple of dozen, frozen a pint of juice, candied more peel than I can possibly eat, and I still have more than enough for marmalade and limoncello. I'm not complaining: when the Meyers are gone, which is most of the year, I miss them sorely. Mostly, I miss the scent of lemons. Can I freeze lemon zest? If so, how should I store it?

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  1. I keep three small double lock Freezer baggies in the freezer. I zest my Myer lemons on a microplane before I squeeze them for juice, or remove the zest with a zester. Fine grated zest in one bag, course grated one, and long shreds in the other. That way it is always available and fresh. You must use good quality heavy duty freezer baggies. Other baggies let air in and ruin the zest.

    1. if i were going to freeze the zest, i think i would remove it in large swaths--with a vegetable peeler or paring knife. while i love the microplane, for freezing, i think that the greater surface area it produces would increase the chance of freezer burn or oil dissapation. mmmm, meyer lemons! with the citrus freeze we had a couple weeks back, you may be realllllly glad you preserved those lemons in a few weeks!

      1. I use a microplane and put little piles of zest onto a small pieces of plastic wrap, which I then fold into tight bundles. The bundles go into a Ziploc freezer bag. The zest loses a bit of its punch, but when you're hankering for that delicious Meyer lemon taste, you'll hardly notice the difference.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pikawicca

          Do you think squeezing the zest into a very small glass jar would work? Would I be able to just spoon a bit out, as needed?

        2. My plan is to stock pile lemons before they become expensive due to the freeze in Cal.
          I would freeze the zest in a few spoonfuls of lemon juice. Seems to me it would keep better. So glad I made lots of preserved Meyers a few weeks ago.I cannot live without lemons!

          1 Reply
          1. re: missclaudy

            I wonder what would happen if I put some chopped candied Meyer lemon peel in the bacon brittle. . . ;-)

          2. Pilinut dear, you know how to float my bacon boat.