Limoncello question

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by fl italian, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. fl italian

    fl italian

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    We've made limoncello a few times and each time, peeling those lemons without the white pith is a real pain. While zesting a lemon for tonights dinner, I thought, "can I use the lemon zest to make limoncello?"... same process; just finer.

    Anybody have an idea on this one?? I can zest a lemon a lot faster than I can peel one!

    Just curious as to how it would affect the flavor and maceration?

    Thanks crew!

    Merry Christmas to all and thanks for all your help through the year!!
     
  2. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    What do you use to zest a lemon? There is a piece of equipment out there called a zester. It cuts the zest off the citrus in thin long strips, leaving the white pith behind. I would invest in one (they are cheap-usually under $10-12).
     
  3. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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  4. jock

    jock

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    If you have a good veggie peeler (a serrated peeler works very well for this - $6 from Bed & Bath) you can peel off 1/2" strips of zest. You can zest a lemon in about 20 seconds and the pieces are easier to manage than the thin strips you get with a zester. But I agree with Pete, you should invest in a zester too.
     
  5. chefray

    chefray

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    Do you have a Microplane? If not, go get one. It's far more versatile than a zester, you can use it for ginger, hard cheese, nutmeg, etc., and produces shorter pieces of zest, which are easier to measure for recipes.
     
  6. suzanne

    suzanne

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    There's a thread here, Lemon Rind, in which making limoncello was discussed. I was lucky enough to receive a bottle from Monkeymay, and it was great! Hers is similar to the one Kokopuffs linked to.

    As for how to zest a lemon, everyone is right! :lol: This shows both the traditional zester and a grater. The zester is the one with all the little holes at the end. But a sturdy vegetable peeler works, too. The main thing is to remove the colored part without removing the white pith. You can do that easily with any of these. (I've never tried the Palm Zester shown, but I like the idea -- so much easier to hold, and your peeling hand won't cramp up when you have a lot of fruit to zest.)
     
  7. fl italian

    fl italian

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    I have a microplane and that's what I was using when I zested the last lemon. In the past, we've peeled the lemons, painstakingly, to keep the pith away as that will tarnish the taste of the limoncello.

    My original question was can the zest of the lemon, those from a microplane, give you the same effect as the full peels in making the limoncello?

    I have all the tools; peeler, zester, microplane and with my microplane, as mentioned by a few of you, I can do a lemon in a few seconds but to peel it without the pith.... well as not professionally trained on that one, I'm really slow!!

    Thanks for all the help and Merry Christmas everyone!!
     
  8. chefray

    chefray

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    To get zest only with a microplane, put the fruit on the board and use just the weight of the grater, hold the handle with two fingers to insure this, to zest. Make a pass toward your body and turn the fruit in the opposite direction to insure that no pith comes along for the ride. Working carefully in bands like this, it will probably take about a minute per lemon but the results are worth it.
     
  9. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Which of the microplane graters listed here is recommended for zesting lemon? Currently I own this medium zester.
     
  10. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Kokopuffs: That one is great for it. I have had the Microplane without the handle (#98977 in that set) since about 1996 and used it today to grate the zest off two lemon quarters. It gave a lovely fine cloud of zest, and no pith whatsoever. The zest was mixed into the apples for a crisp, and just about disappeared except for the flavor. (I've also used that one for horseradish to mix into a sour cream sauce along with lemon zest -- works like a charm!)

    But depending on the use you want to make of the zest, I could see any one of them from medium right up to the ribbon version working fine. In fact, if I were making limoncello, I might want to use the ribbon if only because it would be faster for so many lemons. I think that the finest one is a little too fine for lemon zest; it works, but it takes a lot more effort to get it all off a lemon.
     
  11. chefray

    chefray

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    That's the one I use. There's a fine, but it clogs too easily.
     
  12. fl italian

    fl italian

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    It's also the microplane I have as well but I'm still trying to find out IF the zest from that will produce Limoncello as good as the full peeled rinds??

    I'm not concerned about how to zest a lemon and with what equipment, I'm trying to find out if the zest from the lemon will produce the same quality in limoncello as a skinned lemon peel. Anyone out there know the answer???
     
  13. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Suzanne, please show me the "ribbon zester" that you wrote of.
     
  14. chefray

    chefray

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    Yes and a little faster. The oils in the zest have more exposure to the alcohol due to the smaller pieces of zest having a greater total surface area.
     
  15. fl italian

    fl italian

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    ChefRay...

    Grazie mille!!
     
  16. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Hey, Kokopuffs -- In the link you provided, it's # 98022 (scroll down) -- although the version I have is wider, with the metal part set in plastic and with a rubber handle like the Extra Coarse, # 98055. The main difference is that the ribbon grater is bi-directional, that is, it removes on both upstroke and downstroke. Works really well for cheese and chocolate; I've not actually tried it for zest, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.
     
  17. chefray

    chefray

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    E 'stato un piacere