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Ratios?

rsteve3's picture
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Hello everyone,

does anyone know the ratio of Zest for say an orange to teaspoon? Is it pretty basic 1:1 ? 1 orange yields 1 teaspoon? what about other fruits that are used for zesting? ( lemons; limes etc ?) in addition how much juice does one fruit ( orange, lemon or lime) yield? i am not sure if this information is Joy of cooking and if it is i cant find it? Any ideas where i could find this information?

Thanks!
Rachel

john's picture

Hello Rachel,

Zest and juice yields are hard to nail down for several reasons. Both zest and juice are affected by the size and freshness of the citrus fruit. Have you ever had the misfortune of trying to juice a lime that refuses to give up even the slightest amount of juice? Even bigger fruits (a particularly troublesome navel orange cones to mind) can get very, very "dry" inside. Add to this the range of sizes you find at the market, and coming up with a ratio of ounces of juice to number of fruits, while perhaps possible to average out, is going to be contradicted by many troublesome outliers.

While zest is easier to think about, since it is determined by surface area alone, the size factor still comes into play, as well as the type of zester you use. Microplanes (our favorite) will fluff up the finely-shredded zest, whereas traditional zesters will usually yield thicker strands that have to be minced afterward.

So, that's why we do not have a ratio for each fruit JOY. Now, for my completely unscientific rule of thumb, which I use when shopping for a recipe at the market...

I usually guesstimate 2 tbs. of juice per small citrus fruit (lemons and limes) and buy an extra for luck. For lemon/lime zest, I expect a little less than 1 tsp. per fruit (using a microplane). Though I find myself juicing oranges and grapefruit less, I think asking a 1/4 cup of juice (or 1 1/2 tsp. zest) from an orange is not unreasonable. Grapefruits are obviously a bit more.

Hope that helps!
Best
John.

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