How to Zest a Lemon

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 18,886
    Chef Karen Stiegler demonstrates how to zest a lemon for blueberry lemon muffins.

    Karen Stiegler: Hi! I am Karen Stiegler and I am here today talking to you about healthy baking and how to make Blueberry Lemon Muffins. So now we're going to zest the lemon and it's important when you choose your lemon that you find a good quality lemon. You want to choose one that's firm and has a nice yellow color to it and also free from blemishes.

    So, another thing you might want to consider is since we're using the skin of the lemon, you might want to choose organic fruit if you have it available, if you don't, that's okay. Another thing is whether it's a conventionally grown lemon or whether it's an organically grown lemon, you want to make sure that you wash the lemon and scrub it with the vegetable brush before you start using it.

    So, next we're going to zest the lemon and what I have here is a Microplane Zester, you can get these at most cooking stores and also sometimes at other stores that carry kitchen items and it's really great for zesting a lemon because it gives you thin wispy, sort of shreds of the lemon peel. Now the thing with the lemon is a lot of the flavor of the lemon is inside the peel. The essential oils of the lemon versus the inside, so we want to get just the yellow part, we don't want to get too much of the light part because that can be better, the peel, so this grater does a really great job of it.

    So, I am just going to take my lemon and I will do it over a cutting board or something like that and just scrape the lemon and I just slowly go around the lemon. And you want to do this until you have none of the yellow part exposed and actually on this lemon it's barely even white, but that's really great because you can see here this wispy lemon shreds that we get, this lemon zest and also it accumulates on this top of this grater.

    So, we want to just go ahead and continue grating the whole lemon. Very important, you want to zest the lemon before you cut it up into to get the juice, because once you cut it open and juice it, it's very difficult to zest it. So, in another recipe if you're zesting a lemon, make sure to zest it then juice it. In this recipe, we don't need the juice, so you can save it, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in refrigerator and save it for another time.

    Okay, so there we have the zest from our whole lemon, so this Microplane Zester is one type of Zester you can use does a great job. The other thing is you might have a grater, a small or fine grater similar to this one, that will work okay too. So, if you don't want to go out and buy something special that's okay, use this grater as well. So that is how we zest our lemon and next we're going to combine the ingredients.