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Freezing lemon zest...?

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I'm just wondering, has anyone ever frozen lemon zest in ice cubes? I'm thinking, zest the lemon, add a small amount of water, freeze in ice cube trays, put the frozen cubes in a freezer bag. If you've done it, how well does that work? Does the zest deteriorate in quality? For how long can you keep the cubes?

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  1. I'm guessing that freezing the zest into ice cubes might dilute their flavour, unless you're planning to use the whole cube? I zest my citrus straight onto parchment paper, fold it up and squeeze out the air while wrapping with plastic wrap. To use, just pinch off what you need, it'll thaw in a minute or two.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jubilant cerise

      following a link in the coconut/lemon bundt cake post, I saw a reference on King Arthur's site about zesting lemons, mixing with a bit of granulated sugar, and freezing. I think if you did this in a small freezer container, it might be scoopable with something like a melon baller. Evidently the poster keeps it in the freezer year round. No water added.

      1. re: toodie jane

        That's interesting. Does anyone else have any ideas on preserving zest?

        The Moroccans preserve lemons in big jars with salt. They stuff as many quartered lemons into a container as they can. They have rolled the lemons in salt. They put a layer of olive oil on top to seal the air out.

    2. I just did a search. The only thing I could find was freezing them in a foodsaver bag in the freezer.

      1. Just read about this in the most recent issue of Cook's Illustrated. I don't remember the specifics, but the general conclusion was that the flavor was pretty good (but not as good as fresh) but that the frozen zest lost its vibrant color and was not suitable for a garnish or other purpose where the color was important. I think they were just freezing zest in a zip-seal bag and not putting it in water so your experience may be different.

        1. I store my little plastic wrap bundles of zest in a small mason jar in the freezer.