Say what you like, but in winter oranges, tangerines and other citrus fruits are the tastiest and most fragrant. The juicy pulp can be eaten just like that, made a refreshing fresh juice and endlessly used in the first and second courses. But what to do with the peel? I will say one thing, you definitely should not throw it away.
I remember that as a child, my mother always cooked Fanta from orange peels for the New Year. The drink tasted bitter, of course, but what an aroma! Citrus fruits were not sold in stores all year round, so we stocked up on crusts for future use and dried them on a radiator.
But my mother did everything differently. She carefully removed the zest of tangerines, oranges, lemons and dried them in a towel. Then she ground it into powder and put it in a glass jar. And all year she surprised us with fragrant pastries!
Today we’ll tell you why citrus zest is the best flavor. It is a magical natural spice that transforms any dish. To see this, use citrus powder in desserts and hot drinks. How to cook it correctly – read in our article. And at the end of the article, see the recipe for a sweet preparation for liqueurs.
The recipe for dry spice zest is simple. You will need quality fruit and a little patience. Wash the fruit thoroughly before use, preferably with a brush. Tangerine peels can be dried whole. From oranges, lemons, limes – it is better to remove a thin layer with a vegetable peeler, trying not to touch the white part, otherwise the spice will taste bitter.
How to make citrus powder
Cut the zest into small pieces. If you plan to air dry, wrap it lightly in a thin dry towel or parchment paper. This will prevent debris and dust from getting on the crusts and retain the aroma. You can cut the zest with a special knife or grate it on a fine grater.
Place the zest on a piece of parchment and cover with a second sheet. Dry in the oven at a temperature not exceeding 60 degrees. Stir occasionally.
Grind the dried zest in a coffee grinder. Sift through a sieve and place in a glass container with a lid. The use of plastic is not recommended.
In the orange season, try to prepare a blank for long-term storage. Remove the zest from the fruits with a fine grater, mix with powdered sugar or sugar in a 1: 2 ratio and refrigerate for 48 hours. Use as needed for desserts, tea, coffee or liquor preparation.
- 4 tbsp. l. orange peel with sugar
- 0.5 l of vodka
- 0.5 l of water
- 0.5 sugar
Mix vodka and citrus preparation. Insist at room temperature for 7 days, shaking occasionally. You can use fresh zest, but then insist on alcohol longer.
After a week, make sugar syrup: bring water to a boil, add sugar and simmer for 5 minutes.
Mix alcoholic tincture with chilled sugar syrup and leave for another 7 days, shaking the container 2 times a day. After strain and pour into glass bottles, close tightly with corks.
We, without hesitation, completely undeservedly send the orange peel to the trash can. But you can make many useful things from the peels of oranges, tangerines, limes and lemons, from a cleaning agent to a body scrub.