What method should you use to zest a lemon, or any other citrus fruit? Well, that depends on how you plan to use your zest. Are you making candied peels? Want to add some pizzazz to your baked goods or salad dressing? Looking to add a bit of decoration to your plate? You’ll want to zest your lemon slightly differently for each case.
How to Zest a Lemon
Candied Peels = Paring Knife
1. Slice off the top and bottom of the lemon so that you can see where the skin begins and pith ends.
2. Glide your knife along the curvature of the lemon, starting at the edge of the skin.
Tip: Big strips look best- especially for candied peels, but smaller slices are fine too.
Pizzazz = Microplane or Grater
1. Take a lemon and ightly apply pressure to the grater
2. Move the lemon lengthwise or in a circular motion along the grater.
3. Avoid going ‘crazy’ with you zesting motions, otherwise you will end up missing patches of zest.
Tip: If you are using the zest for baking or adding it to a sauce, zest the lemon directly over the bowl/pot you are mixing the zest into in order to capture all of the lemon oils.
Decoration = Zester
1. Place the sharp edge of the zester firmly on the fruit’s skin.
2. Press hand and pull along the fruit lengthwise.
Tip: Strip the lemon all around and then go around the lemon once more to get the zest from the leftover grooves.