There are lots of delicious lemons at the grocery store right now. I am envious of those fortunate enough to live in an area where citrus fruits are bountiful during this time of year. In my cold climate I can either grow a miniature tree or buy from the grocery store for my citrus needs. This year I am buying my citrus from a grocery store since I do not currently own any dwarf citrus trees.
I am especially attracted to Meyer Lemons with their sweet tart flavor that lacks the harsh bitterness of true lemons. Unfortunately, Meyer Lemons do not last long in the grocery store, so when they are in season I indulge in several pounds of Meyer Lemons. I make them most of the Meyer Lemons by preserving the zest in a dehydrator. The Meyer Lemon zest is wonderful in yogurt, on top of steamed broccoli, or baked on top of fish.
Lemon zest takes up a small amount of room in a dehydrator, so this project is realistic for people with the smallest dehydrators. Use a micro plate zester to zest the lemons so the bitter white part of the peel is left behind. This will prevent your lemon zest from tasting bitter. Fresh lemon zest is far more flavorful than dehydrated lemon zest, but when Meyer Lemons are no longer in season this is a good substitute for fresh lemon zest.
Ingredients modified from The Dehydrator Bible by Jennifer MacKenzi, Jay Nutt, and Don Mercer p 28
- Micro Plate Zester
1. Zest the lemons using a micro plate zester. Leave the white part of the pith on the lemon.
2. Evenly spread the lemon zest over a sheet of parchment paper or on a fruit leather sheet.
3. Place the parchment paper or fruit leather sheet on a rack in your dehydrator.
4. Dehydrate for 2 hours at 130 degrees F.
5. Break up any clumps of zest and stir the zest to ensure even drying.
6. Dehydrate another 1-2 hours at 130 degrees F. (I dehydrated my zest for 3 hours)
7. Store in an air tight container in a dark place for up to 1 year.
Posted on Homestead Barn Hop