Last updated May 1, 2016

When I cook with citrus, there are three essential kitchen tools that I use to take recipes from average to professional: a reamer, a microplane and a strainer.

Most citrus recipes, whether sweet or savory, call for citrus zest. You can try to accomplish this with a vegetable peeler, but oftentimes, peelers go too far down in the rind. If you peel off the white pith with the rind, the zest will be too bitter.

A microplane is made especially for zesting citrus. It shaves off the colorful rind, which is packed with flavor and essential oils, and it leaves behind the pith. You can also use a microplane to grate whole nutmeg, which is much more flavorful than the pre-ground stuff.

After zesting the fruit, you’ll surely want to take advantage of its beautiful juice. There are many secret cook tips for getting the most juice out of a lemon, orange or lime – some people microwave the fruit for 20 seconds. Others roll it on the counter.

My advice: make sure the fruit is at room temperature. Then, cut it in half and use a wooden reamer to press out all the juice.

But wait! There’s one more important step. You should juice your fruit over a strainer to catch all of the seeds. It’s so much easier than picking out the seeds one-by-one.

Some people like to just squeeze the juice into their hands to collect the seeds, but you can’t use a reamer, squeeze the fruit and catch the seeds unless you have a third hand to help. If you skip the reamer and just squeeze the fruit, you could be missing out on up to a tablespoon of juice.

Puff Pastry Lemon Rolls | Zestuous

When following these steps, each plump lemon should yield about 1 teaspoon of zest and 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup of lemon juice).

Now that you know the professional secrets, how about trying this lemony version of cinnamon rolls. There’s no need to make your own dough. Pre-made puff pastry sheets are an easy buttery, flaky alternative.

You just flatten them out, spread with lemon curd (homemade or store bought<