Replacing lemon zest with lemon oil

337
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Joined Jun 28, 2001
I am sick of zesting lemons for my cake. Not to mention having them get moldy on me when I can't go through a 5# bag fast enough. I considered buying frozen lemon zest, but I would like to avoid having to make room for one more thing in my freezer. I figure since it's the lemon oil in the zest that I'm after, maybe I'll just use straight up oil. Is there a difference in taste? And about how much oil per zest of 1 lemon? I just through out some moldy ones so I can't remember the size # of the lemons, but they're on the small side.

If I stop using fresh lemons, I won't be squeezing lemons for the juice either and will switch to bottled juice. In your personal opinion, can you tell the difference when it comes to cake? I definitely notice it if I'm making lemonade or as a condiment, but I don't detect much of a different in cakes. That just might be my taste buds and I wonder if others notice this or not.
 
222
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Joined Nov 27, 2001
Interesting that you should bring this up. I tried the lemon oil in place of the zest for the first time this week. I did use fresh juice, however. I did not find that it affected the taste. I did it to save me some pain (carpal tunnel) but it saved a ton of time, too, especially when you are doing a cake for 250 people. I have used frozen juice on occasion (minute maid sells it in the grocery store in small quanities) for other things and it has worked pretty well. The bottled stuff always seems to have a "dull" taste.
 
1,839
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Joined May 29, 1999
Don't get mad at me but.......

You can take a case of fresh, beautiful lemons and: Zest them, place zest on sheet pan, cover with plastic and freeze, once frozen put in plastic quart containers or whatever container suitable for freezing you like.
Juice the zested lemons and freeze juice in containers suitable for freezing, whatever size you like.

(one case can be done in 2 hours)

This has saved my bottom line several times when I get a last min order for lemon butter cream, sponge, cheese cake, brulee etc....

No, you do not have to do a case at a time, but that 5# bag will go far when stored properly and at your fingertips frozen and ready to go!!!

This goes for oranges too.
:bounce:
 
1,839
11
Joined May 29, 1999
This gets me thinking of beautiful berries left over from the season. do you freeze them for muffins and fillings?
I have been doing this for several years, you take the best of the season, clean them, freeze on sheet pans, once frozen put in plastic containers and keep frozen until needed.
Yummy muffins in the dead of winter when berry prices go skyward.
also good for drunken raspberries and blackberries.

:lips:
 
2,938
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Joined Mar 4, 2000
In a pinch, the packaged zest by Perfect Puree is very good. It is frozen in a sweetened syrup. Same concept as mbrown's, with a bit more moisture to compensate for freezing.

I don't recommend the lemon or orange 'rape' sold by Paris Gourmet (or is it Uster?). It has a chemical taste and texture to it.
 
337
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Joined Jun 28, 2001
Anna, how much oil did you use per zest of 1 lemon? A friend of mine said according to Boyajian, it's 1/4 teaspoon oil per zest. Is this about what you used?
 
337
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Joined Jun 28, 2001
m-
Hmmm... really? Two hours? You must be a fast zester!

Even if I had the drive, I have no freezer space. A half sheet won't even fit in my freezer what to speak of store lemon juice in there or in-season berries or taking advantage of sales at the supermarket and stocking up. It's so cramped in there; it's not even funny. A shelf in my fridge is a little larger than a half sheet pan and it's not very tall or deep. Cramped, I tells ya! Our lease is up in May and we will NOT be renewing. We're looking for a place with a bigger kitchen with a bigger fridge or at least enough room to buy a second refrigerator and freezer. Then I will be a freezing fool!

momoreg- thanks for the advice! I had seen lemon rape on the Paris Gourmet site and was considering buying some to check out. Eeek!
---

I think I am going to try my cake with lemon oil, no zest, and see if my local farmer's market or something has 100% bottled lemon juice.
 
1,839
11
Joined May 29, 1999
I can dig it!

When using oils, get an eyedropper! They are far more potent than extracts and fresh.
 
186
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Joined Nov 10, 2000
I use the McNess Lemon and Orange Oils from Williams Sonoma.
1/4 tsp. equals 1 tbs. zest or to taste.

I just picked up some Melon Oil on a recent trip to Japan.
 
428
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Joined Nov 5, 2009
I can dig it!

When using oils, get an eyedropper! They are far more potent than extracts and fresh.
I spent the entire day looking for that in my area..to no avail.  Is there something I can us in it's place? My cake recipe calls for 3/8 tsp of  lemon oil as well as 12 gm lemon zest
 
5,504
944
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Lemon oil tastes like lemon oil, and bottled lemon juice tastes like bottled lemon juice--very acidic with little to no flavour. 

If using these as flavorings, your products will have a "institutional" taste to them.

I use the perfect purees lemon zest, and I also use a microplane--takes me 20 seconds to do a lemon:  Hold the lemon by the top and bottom, and run one "side" of the lemon down the microplane, then rotate and do all the way down a lemon.  Kinda like turning a potato.
 
428
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Joined Nov 5, 2009
So you feel the zest is more flavorful than the lemon oil?

That's good to  know

Thank you very much /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
 
5,516
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Joined Apr 3, 2010
To my taste,  lemon oil taste artificial in cakes, pies or puddings. Like in all cooking ,'' you can't beat the real thing.;;
 
14
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Joined Aug 18, 2010
Hi

I tried the lemon oil in place of the zest for the first time this week. I did use fresh juice, however. I did not find that it affected the taste. I appreciate your in-put..I will take your advice. thanks.
 
5,516
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Joined Apr 3, 2010
Fresh Juice is good. I only find that the oil of lemon imparts an artificial medicine like taste. We made a dozen cupcakes 3 real zest., 3 juice only, 3 w with lemon oil , 3 with lemon chips(artificial flavor) Zest tasted best.
 
5,504
944
Joined Oct 10, 2005
The most flavourfull part of any citrus fruit is the zest--oranges, limes, lemons, even grapefruit and certainly kumquats.  I believe it is the natural volatile oils in the zest that give all the flavour.

If you look at certain foods and thier ingredients, you will find that the zest is very important.  Lemon curd, for example relies on zest for it's flavour--juice fior acidity, but zest for flavour, key lime as well, orange and grapefruit marmalade.....  Candied citrus peel has been used for centuries in baking too.
 
5,504
944
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Nope, not pressed, destilled.  Many of the other oils are destilled too, like peppermint, bitter almond, rose, etc..  Lemon oil tastes like, well, lemon oil, your mind thinks furniture polish, not lemon curd. A good destilled oil is not cheap, just paid CDN$60 for a half-liter bottle of pure peppermint oil; by simply unscrewing the cap, I can blow the top of my head off.....

Many of the "aroma therapy" oils are derived from natural sources, but are "not intended for consumption" Translation:  Lousy destilling processes. Do not consume  .

Cheaper edible variatities are "cut" with neutral oils, many are "tinted" with colouring.  Caveat emporium and all that.

Like I said, "perfect purees" (google them, US based) puts out 1 qt tubs of frozen lemon zest and orange zest, think I paid somewhere around CDN$18 for a tub---mind you about half is sugar, but an excellent product. 
 

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