Lemons have a strong taste that resembles a bitter, sour, harsh flavor. Lemon is not typically eaten by itself, it is meant to enhance the flavor of other foods.
When lemon is added to foods, it adds a pungent, tart flavor that can be both refreshing and light.
Lemon flavor can be added to foods using lemon juice and lemon zest. For foods like lemonade, only the lemon juice is added. For baking lemon flavor into muffins, loaves, lemon curd, lemon cakes, both the lemon juice and lemon zest are added.
Lemon juice can be extracted from a lemon using a juicer. Cut the lemon in half, then place half of it on the juice and grind it to extract the juice. Keep pressing and moving it side to side to remove all of the lemon juice. Once you’ve extracted your lemon juice, remove any seeds.
If you don’t want any pulp to be present in your baking, you can strain the pulp of the lemon juice using a strainer or sifter.
Baking with lemons
When baking lemon bars, the pulp is removed from the juice to make sure the lemon flavor is smooth and velvety and without any stringy bits. Keep this in mind when using lemon juice for baked goods.
Lemon zest is made by using a grater with small holes.
Press one side of the lemon onto the grater and cut in a downward motion. Repeat this process until the whole lemon has all of the lemon rind removed.
Lemon rind has a potent flavor, therefore you only want to use a grater with small holes.
Using larger wholes to grate the lemon will produce zest that is too large and overwhelming for baking.
How to reduce lemon taste
To reduce lemon taste in baking, you can use 1-2 tsp of vanilla extract. The vanilla extract calms the bitter lemon flavor and makes it much more neutral.
To reduce lemon taste in lemonade or lemon water, add sugar, mint leaves, rosemary sprigs, water, or soda to your beverage to dilute out the lemon flavor.
3 Recipes that use a lot of lemons
How to make buttermilk using lemon juice
To make buttermilk using lemon juice, use this ratio of milk to lemon juice for your recipe.
- 1 cup milk: 1 tbsp lemon juice
Gently mix the milk and lemon juice together until it becomes thick and clumpy. Buttermilk using lemon juice takes a couple of minutes to form, be a little patient while you wait.
You can also add 1 tsp of vanilla extract to the buttermilk to give it a hint of vanilla flavoring if desired.