Tips for easier juicing and zesting of citrus fruits

  • Tuesday, February 19, 2013 8:12am
  • Life

With a wide variety of citrus fruit at its peak, here are a few ways to prepare and store it:

Juicing: You can get more juice out of limes (or lemons) by microwaving them for 20 seconds or by rolling them around under your palm on the countertop. As you press down, the segments break down, releasing more juice.

You can also use a fork to poke the segments. Freeze any leftover juice in ice cube trays. Once frozen, place the cubes in a freezer bag.

Zesting: This means to remove pieces of the outer rind of the fruit. The rind has aromatic oils that enhance and flavor foods. The white pithy part under the peel is bitter.

If a recipe calls for the “zest of one lemon,” that means to remove strips of rind from the whole lemon. If the recipe calls for grated lemon zest, you should grate the rind on a box grater, a zester or a rasp-style grater.

Store thin or wide strips of lemon zest and grated lemon zest in a freezer-safe container or plastic sealable bag. It will keep for several months.

Several kitchen tools remove the zest of lemons easily to avoid the pith. Here are a few:

Rasp-style zesters and graters. We prefer Microplane-style graters. Their sharp teeth make removing the peel a snap; a swipe of a lemon yields feathery pieces of zest. Graters come in several sizes, colors and styles, producing fine to coarse grates.

Citrus zesters. These typically have five tiny but sharp holes in their tips. When you pull the zester across the fruit, little strips of peel come off.

Vegetable peelers. Chef Aaron Wynn recommends using a peeler that is not super sharp so it “doesn’t dig too deep into the fruit.” “Peel it as if you’re peeling an apple,” Wynn says. If you dig too deep, you’ll remove the white pith. If this happens, use a paring knife to scrape away any pith.

Segmenting: Here’s an easy way to cut oranges and grapefruits into segments. Use a serrated knife to cut a slice off each end of the fruit, revealing some of the flesh. Stand the fruit on one cut end.

Starting at the top of the fruit and cutting to the bottom, slice off pieces of peel along with the pith (you will get some of the flesh), following the curve of the fruit.

Once you’ve removed the peel all around, cut off any remaining pith. To cut into segments, hold the fruit in your hand over a bowl to catch the juices.

Cut on each side of the membrane all the way to the core to cut out the segment. Once you have cut out all the segments, squeeze what you have left to release more juice.

Susan M. Selasky, Detroit Free Press

More in Life

How did 300 feathers get stuck in that old utility pole?

Artful adornment in Everett is the creation of a retired Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer.

‘Found’: Author and climber a 20-year veteran of mountain rescue

In her second book, Bree Loewen shares her experiences of volunteering with Seattle Mountain Rescue.

Herb Alpert aims to uplift the world in two recent albums

The Tijuana Brass bandleader releases a Christmas record and an album of covers.

Slick new V6 engine, safety updates boost Nissan Pathfinder

The SUV’s extensive redesign boosts towing capacity and adds driver assistance technology.

Prioritizing permanence and putting down roots

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: I’m at a loss… Continue reading

Foo Fighters bounce back with new album ‘Concrete and Gold’

Foo Fighters, “Concrete and Gold”: Can you hate the Foo Fighters? Not… Continue reading

Taking a service dog on the trail

Tenley Lozano hikes with her service dog, Elu. They have section-hiked the… Continue reading

‘Fixer Upper’ couple say they’re ending popular HGTV show

Chip and Joanna Gaines says season beginning in November will be the last one.

How to shop in the street markets of France

It’s the best way to connect with the nation’s farmers and artisans.

Most Read