Preheat the oven to the lowest possible temperature. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper; set aside.
Pour the peppercorns inside a zip-top bag. Seal the bag, squeezing out as much air out of the bag as possible. Cover the bag with a dish towel, then use the mallet to crush the peppercorns. The towel will help soften the blows from the mallet which can cause small holes to form on the bag. (See Notes)
Mix the lemon zest with the crushed peppercorns on the prepared baking sheet. Spread out the lemon pepper mixture out onto the baking sheet. (See Notes)
Bake the lemon zest and the peppercorns on the lowest setting of your oven until the color of the zest turns pale yellow and it becomes completely dry and brittle. The texture will be similar to sawdust or pencil shavings; about 20 to 30 minutes. (See Notes)
When the lemon zest is dry, remove the sheet pan from the oven and allow it to cool for about 2 to 3 minutes, before mixing in the kosher salt.
Grinding The Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Carefully roll the parchment paper up with the zest, salt, and peppercorns inside, using the parchment paper as a funnel.Pour the lemon pepper seasoning mixture into a spice grinder or coffee grinder. Grind the lemon pepper seasoning until it reaches the desired texture you are looking for.
The Peppercorns: Keep in mind, that the peppercorns do not have to be completely crushed. Crushing them will help to open up their aroma and release the natural oils from the peppercorns. This will also help the heat to penetrate the peppercorns, which will help wake them up and intensify the flavor.The Lemon Zest: Take notice that before the lemon zest goes into the oven it is bright in color with an oily sheen to it. The zest is very moist and clumps together easily. Do your best to disperse it evenly into the peppercorns.Drying: The baking time will vary based on how wet the lemon zest is and the temperature range of your oven. The lowest setting of my oven is 170 degrees F and it took about 20 to 30 minutes.Grinding: I use a coffee grinder like THIS ONE to grind spices. I like that it has different settings. It cleans up nicely and David and I also grind coffee beans in it too. I used a coarse grind to make the lemon pepper seasoning and pulsed it a few times.Storage: Store the lemon pepper seasoning in an airtight container for up to a few months.
Did you try this recipe? Tell us what you think!Give this recipe a star rating, leave a comment below and share pictures of your food with us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter! We can't wait to see them! Don't forget to mention @TheMountainKitchen or tag #TheMountainKitchen!
Thanks for visiting TheMountainKitchen.com We hope you like this recipe. Please share your thoughts about this recipe with us!