Save the juice for some other cooking activity or freeze it for later, then save the rind for citrus vinegar.
A Zester Trust me, it will make this a whole lot easier but you could use a peeler or knife to remove the zest, just make sure you aren’t taking any of the white pith along with the zest. This is where I got my zester, I like it but one with a handle like this one would be even better. It just wouldn’t survive in this house, my husband has a terrible curse: he breaks wimpy handles right off thing. Garden shovels, axes, kitchen utensils, you name it. So yeah, that would be why I got a zester without a handle. moving on…
You don’t need to use white sugar, any kind will work! Just realize the flavor will come through so make sure you like the combination, white sugar is nice since it’s a blank slate.
For ever 1/2 cup sugar I added 3 tbs zest.
Now you mix them together well with a spoon. Use the back to crunch the sugar and zest together, embrace your obsessive compulsive tendencies. You can’t over mix it, and you’ll get an arm workout!
And pop the dish in a 200f oven, leave the door cracked to let steam out!
You could also totally do this in a dehydrator on parchment paper or inserts for drying liquids, depending on what kind of dehydrator you use. I think it would actually preserve more of the good citrus flavor. I haven’t tried it yet but I would use the highest setting and you won’t need to stir it as frequently as if doing it in the oven.
Oh yeah, don’t forget to stir the sugar every few minutes to break up any clumps.
The whole process will only take minutes in the oven so keep a good eye on it so you don’t cook out all the citrus flavor or brown the sugar.
Once the zest crunches between your fingers its ready to come out.