If you’ve ever wondered how to dry lemon peel, this tutorial is for you. Drying lemon peel might seem intimidating, but it’s actually pretty easy.
Drying Lemon peel/Zest
Drying lemon zest is a breeze. This tutorial will give you step-by-step instructions to make your own fragrant, flavor-packed dried lemon zest.
This is one of those recipes that doesn’t need measurements, but for simplicity and accuracy, I will show you the detailed measurements.
Easy To Work With
Lemon zest is one of the most versatile and easy to work with ingredients. It’s powdery bits can be used in many sweet and savory recipes to add that fresh “punch” and citrusy kick.
The zest can be removed from lemons using a zester or cheese grater or carefully peeling them with a sharp knife. Be careful not to peel the pith or the white part of the lemon, or you’ll end up with bitter peels.
Now let’s talk about how we can dry lemon peels at home without the mass production of a major corporation!
Drying the lemon zest in the oven
You can dry the lemon zest in the oven using a parchment-lined baking sheet if you’re short on time—Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit and dry for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. A couple of factors explain why drying time varies:
- The thickness of the lemon peels
- How well spread the peels are
- Individual oven temperature differences.
Drying the lemon peels in the sun
You can place them on a large plate or tray and spread them out as much as possible. Then dry them in an area with enough sunlight. They should completely dry out within an hour to a few days, depending on the sun’s intensity in your area.
Be sure to dry them out thoroughly so they don’t grow molds in storage.
Drying the lemon zest in the Microwave
Microwave on high for 30 seconds, then mix and continue microwaving in 15 to 30-second increments until dry.
Preserving dried lemon peel
Learning how to dry lemon zest is a fun experiment, but it doesn’t have to end there. Preserve your lemons so that you can enjoy the wonderful lemony flavor all year long.
Once the lemon zest cools, you can store them in an airtight container until you’re ready to use them.
- Thoroughly drying lemon peels is important to preserve their flavor and aroma.
- You can line the baking sheet with parchment paper, but this is optional because the peels don’t stick to the pan.
- Lemon zest takes a shorter time to dry than peels, so monitor continuously. Once the peels are dry, you can blend them in a spice grinder and store them until it’s time to use them.
This recipe yields a half cup of dry lemon zest.
How to dry lemon zest
- 10-12 medium lemons preferably organic.
- Preheat the oven to 170F
- Wash the lemons well and wipe them dry before zesting or peeling off their peel.
- Use a lemon zester (grater) to zest the lemons or use a paring knife or an adjustable-blade vegetable peeler to remove the yellow part of the lemon skin.
- Spread the lemon zest (peels) evenly on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Place the baking sheet in the oven and leave to dry for 30 minutes to one hour tossing every 15 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
- Blend, crush or crumble into small pieces as desired – I simply crush mine between my fingers.
- Store in an airtight container for later use!
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the zest in a thin layer on the parchment paper.
- Put the baking sheet outside in an area with plenty of sun, away from anything that may create a shadow (like trees, buildings etc.).
- Allow the zest to dry out in the sun for 1 hour.
- After an hour, check if all of the zest has dried out. If not, let it sit out in the sun for another 15 minutes. Repeat this step until all of the zest has dried out.
- When you’re happy with how dry your zest is, remove it from the sun and place it in an airtight container or jar.
- Store it in a cool, dark spot away from light and moisture.
- Lay slices of lemon peel in a single layer on a paper towel and cover with another paper towel.
- Microwave for 30 seconds on high; check for dryness and continue to microwav