Working with zest. (cooking)

I find myself very enamored with all things ‘zest’ lately.

I’m making cupcakes and icings currently. I love the zing it adds to all things. Lemons, grapefruit, clementines - all yum to me.

But it’s tricky to manage and impossible to ‘sprinkle’. But I see it sprinkled on lots of things, how is that? Is there a trick I don’t know about perhaps?

How about you, do you find it tricky to sprinkle? Got any tips or tricks for me?

Are you zesting right onto the items? Try zesting into a separate bowl and then sprinkle it on.
What tool are you using?

I grate directly onto whatever needs to be sprinkled onto, using a Microplane grater. Hold the grater in your “off” hand, above the item, and carefully grate by gently rubbing the citrus fruit against the grater. Tap the grater gently, occasionally, to knock any built-up zest loose.

Microplane graters come in different sizes of grate. Try a fine one and do as Ferret Herder suggests.

If you like zest, then you might like Kumquats. Right now, the market in the US for kumquats may be seriously damaged by this current arctic blast we are experiencing in Florida, of all citrus crops they are the most delicate.

They make a good Kumquat Cream Pie

depending on what you are making you can also dry your own zest, I do this with oranges all the time. Orange Zest Vodka is some interesting stuff.

I would say zesting right over the target would be the easiest way to ‘sprinkle’. I wonder if a quick freeze to a pile of zest would damage the flavour or texture. It may be easier to separate then.

We have a fine microplane that I use and just let it fall on a plate. All my recipes have been incorporating the zest within the batch instead of sprinkling though. It does separate nicely when thrown in flour (for my German Apple Puff Pancake…lemon zest sets off the apple taste).

For Christmas dinner I make a sweet potato casserole with orange zest and maple syrup. The zing really enhances the overall flavour.

I grate it separate from the target then pick up a large pinch and work it between my thumb and fingers over the item. With a little practice, you can sprinkle quite evenly.

It doesn’t. I’ve saved lemon zest in the freezer and used it a week later with no noticable decline in flavor.

Like most other posters so far, I usually grate the zest directly onto the target destination using a microplane grater.

Microplane graters are heavenly wonderful things. Between citrus zest, fresh ginger (which I store in the freezer to make it last longer and grate easier) and parmesan, mine gets used almost daily.

BTW, it’s also possible to keep entire citrus peels in the freezer and then grate zest off them while still frozen. I always save the peel after I’ve eaten an orange so that I have it kicking around for the next time I’m baking something.

Wow, these are all great suggestions, thanks!

I have indeed, learned many useful things from this thread!

What a great idea! Never occurred to me…:smack: