Lemon Zest Purée
Lemon Zest Purée is a homemade frozen convenience product: It is a 1-1 mixture of lemon zest and sugar, inspired by the commercial product of the same name and used in professional kitchens. The sugar acts as a carrier which allows the zest to be frozen without drying out. The sugar also prevents the lemon zest from freezing too hard, so it can be scooped out with a spoon as needed. When a recipe calls for grated lemon zest, use twice as much Lemon Zest Purée; the small amount of extra sugar in the purée is not enough to adversely affect a recipe.


  • YIELD: ABOUT 120g (4.25 oz)
  • 60 grams lemon zest - from 3 large lemons (yield is about 20g each)
  • 60 grams sugar (1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon)

  • 120 grams = Total (4.25 oz)

  • YIELD: DOUBLE BATCH - ABOUT 240g (8.5 oz)
  • 120 grams lemon zest - from 6 large lemons (yield is about 20g each)
  • 120 grams sugar (1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons)

  • 240 grams = Total (8.5 oz)

  1. Peel off the zest in thin strips using a vegetable peeler. Cut away any white pith from the back of the strips with a sharp paring knife (serrated works best), because the pith will cause the purée to be bitter.
  2. Coarse-chop the zest using a chef's knife..
  3. Process the coarse-chopped zest and sugar in a mini food processor until the zest is very finely ground and the sugar is liquefied.
  4. Freeze in air-tight container and use as needed. Keep frozen. Spoon out as needed.
  5. For larger batches, just use equal parts zest and sugar by weight.
Recipe Ancestry Notes:
Recipe developed by Shirl Gard.