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Meyer Lemon Rind

Is there any possibility of preserving the rinds of lemons to use later as zest? I was gifted with about 30 beautiful Meyer lemons. I would love to keep the rinds for later use, but have tried freezing, Food Saver-ing and freezing them whole and they just don't keep. Any ideas, suggestions or advice? I am candying some of them.

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  1. Can you just zest them now and air dry (or dry in a low oven)? What do you want to use it for later?

    1 Reply
    1. re: 4Snisl

      I don't know what I'll be making, but it would be nice to have zest for baking and chicken dishes. I always have frozen lemon juice cubes, so I don't always have fresh lemons on hand for the zest. Not for curd or pudding.

        1. re: rockfish42

          I agree, rockfish, meyer lemons are great to use in preserved lemons.

        2. Meyer lemons make wonderful limoncello.

          1. You could make some great lemoncillo. I have a meyer lemon tree and we often make a batch.

            Use the peel, no pith, of 15 lemons, and combine with one bottle of everclear. Let it stand 40 or so days. Give it a shake every week.

            After 40 days pour it through a filter and remove the rind. Filter it 3 more times through unbleached coffee filters. You want to remove all of the rind particles.

            Combine it with a bottle of vodka and an equal amount of simple syrup.

            750 ml of everclear
            750 ml of vodka
            750 od simple syrup.

            Bottle it in in mason jars or back in the bottles, store in the freezer.

            It is strong and good.

              1. re: Brandon Nelson

                Really, Brandon? How do you freeze? I have never had success with it. After a week, the zest turns brown and doesn't taste like anything. Thanks for all the suggestions on what to make with the lemons, but I wanted to know how I can preserve the rind.

                1. re: mochi mochi

                  Sounds like the suggestion of drying that I made isn't up your alley. I've often used dried zest in making homemade seasoning mix for chicken, and while the flavor isn't quite as distinctive, it's still pretty tasty.

                  1. re: 4Snisl

                    I have so much, I will try your method. Do I need to get rid of all the pith?

                  2. re: mochi mochi

                    I zest it first, portion, wrap tightly, then freeze. If you have a chest freezer, store it there (the refrigerator's freezer cycles through a mini defrost every so often to keep it frost-free, which leads to freezer burn). You could also portion it, add a teaspoon of water, and freeze it that way, which helps keep it from freezer burn, which might be the browning problem you have.

                    1. re: DebL

                      That makes perfect sense. I will add the water!!! Thanks, Deb.

                    2. re: mochi mochi

                      My suggestion does preserve the rind, you just discard the pulp and use the rind in your dish, it's popular in Northern African cuisines.

                      1. re: rockfish42

                        I had already juiced all the lemons so I only had the rinds. :( If she gifts me with more lemons, I need to try your method. Looks and sounds great.

                      2. re: mochi mochi

                        Zest, seal in plastic, freeze. I haven't had issues with discolortion. You will loose some of the more volatile properties, as frozen is never just like fresh.

                        1. re: mochi mochi

                          Cut rind into thin strips, put in ice cube trays and cover with water. Make sure your lemons haven't been sprayed with pesticides if you're using the rind.

                      3. I read this somewhere really recently, don't remember where:

                        zest your lemon onto a piece of wax paper. wait an hour until it's mostly dry, then fold the paper in half and press it between your fingers. you should be able to crush the dry zest into something like a powder, that will dry even more completely and that you can keep in a bottle or in the freezer.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: heidipie

                          That sounds like a winner too. Thanks so much everyone. I need to try all your suggestions.
                          I really love the zest of lemons and I hated to throw out all those lovely peels.

                        2. When I have a recipe that calls for any type of citrus juice but not the peel, I zest the peel and add it to a jar of kosher salt that I keep on my kitchen counter by my stove. The zest infuses the salt with wonderful citrus flavor and the salt serves as a natural preservative.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: cvhound

                            OMG! What a perfect solution. Thank you so much.I ended up candying all the rind and enjoying munching on it for a pick me up but will definitely do that the next time.

                              1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                                Remove pith with a sharp knife. Cut into strips about 1/2" wide. Cover with water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Boil about 10 minutes. Drain and repeat.

                                In another saucepan combine (depending on how much peel you have) 3 cups sugar and 1.5 cups of water. I must have used about 12 lemons worth. Bring to boil and cook until thermometer reads about 230 degrees. Remove from heat, stir in peel and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stirring frequently. I drain and keep the simple syrup for tea.
                                In a small bowl, add 1/2 cup of sugar and roll pieces until coated. I let dry on parchment covered cookie sheet. Let dry completely and store in an air tight container.

                          2. Thank you all for your posts. We just picked about 15 pounds of Meyers off our tree and was wondering how to save the zest. There are too many to preserve and I still have frozen Juice from last year's crop. One use for preserved rinds is to clean very well and steep in olive oil for 2-3 days. Strain and bottle. Use on fish, chicken or veggies.