Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How to Store Citrust Fruit Zest

You may end up with some left over zest from your cooking and you may not be sure whether to throw it away or freeze it or you may even be tempted to add extra to your dishes just because you have plenty of it.
I suggest you don't over empower your cakes or fillings or sauces with the zest.
What I do with the zest is to save it in the fridge.
Here is what you need to do :

citrus fruits of your choice, with nice shiny and healthy looking skin
a few TBSP of the fruits' juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 small plastic container with tightly fitting lid

Wash your fruits with hot water, wipe them dry and zest them over a cutting board or a large plate.
Keep in mind that lemons, limes, oranges etc are easier to zest when cold and easier to juice when warm.
OK, so after zesting them you need to put each one down on your kitchen counter and with your palm over it rotate back and forth and press.
This is going to be equal to squeezing the fruit in your hand.
At this point. let the zested fruit lay there for at least 10 minutes and attend to your zest.
Open the plastic container (or you could simply use a plastic ziplock bag), put the zest in and add the sugar and 1 to 2 TBSP juice from a half of a lemon you will need to juice just for this.
Now you may wonder why you need to do that.
I have tried it with just sugar too, but the color fades s the days pass, and I have found that adding the juice not only keeps the zest moist, but also keeps the color bright and cheerful.
Let's say you will not have any juice and only sugar.
What will happen then ?
Well, then the sugar will pull out some of the liquid of the zest itself and this will help prevent the zest turning dry.
When you're done adding the zest, juice and sugar, close the plastic container or plastic bag and shake to combine.
Store in the fridge and it will keep for a long time, if of course, you do not need it for any exquisite pie ! Or cake !
(What you see in these pictures is zest that has sat in the fridge for 3 days and I think it looks great.)

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