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Storing citrus zest: freeze or dry? (and for how long?)

Michelly Nov 17, 2011 09:05 AM

I have a lime tree and a lemon tree. Periodically, I will get a pretty large number of either fruit, so it's pies, ades, cakes, and..ahem..margaritas. I also give many away.
But that's the juice (which I know can be frozen). What about the zest? Should I freeze it or dry it, and for how long?

  1. scubadoo97 Nov 17, 2011 04:00 PM

    I can tell you zest wrapped in plastic wrap and store in the fridge will dry out. That's not such a bad thing depending on how you want to use it. If you want to retain the original texture and taste I would freeze

    1. r
      racer x Nov 17, 2011 09:46 AM

      I haven't experimented with drying zest, but I know you can freeze orange zest.
      I just used some this week that I had frozen this past summer. The aroma was almost as strong, I think, as if it had been freshly grated.

      2 Replies
      1. re: racer x
        jmnewel Nov 17, 2011 11:29 AM

        How do you package your zest for freezing? I have not had good luck with the process myself and would like to know how to do it successfully.

        1. re: jmnewel
          racer x Nov 17, 2011 03:27 PM

          I just put the shavings in aluminum foil, then into a plastic Ziplock-type bag. Stored in the holder on the freezer door (temperature about minus 2ºF).
          Not sure whether aluminum foil would interact with more acidic zests.
          Btw, I use fine shavings from a zester, not thick shavings from a peeler.

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