How To Section Citrus Fruit

Cutting citrus fruit into sections, also called a supreme, is a basic skill.

Culinary students should learn this skill in the first class they take.

However, with that said, I find it odd that in class some students don’t know how to section citrus fruit, even in an advanced class.

I also observed this student who once shown how to do it, passed it on to another team-mate to complete. They in turn, did something else. Not being my class, all I could do is observe and makes notes to myself.

Note to self: Knife Skill Test; Measurement Test for class. If you are a student, consider this heads up!

The process is quite simple and the technique applies to all citrus fruits.

If you are going to want the zest for anything, remove the zest before removing the peel. Personally, I like to dry the zest and keep it handy for quick flavor blasts in a bland dish.

Cut the top and bottom from the fruit.

Cut the peel down the side, removing the pith and exposing the inner fruit.

Cut the peel away all around the fruit.

Work over a bowl to catch all the juices that drip while you cut the fruit sections out.

Remove the sections

Using a sharp knife, cut between the membranes and slide the cut section into a bowl.

Continue all around the fruit until all sections are removed. Squeeze the juice into the bowl with fruit sections.

Discard remaining peel, any seeds and membrane.

All used up.
For total mileage, roll it in salt and give your copper pots a polish.

The sections should be free of seeds, pith and peel.

Use them in salads, salsa, on grilled or fried meats or poultry or seafood.

A bowl of citrus segments is really nice with vanilla ice cream or to accent fruit desserts.

Orange and lemon segments

Refreshing!

How to cut a Fresh Pineapple

Cutting Pineapple

Here is how to cut that fresh pineapple you have in your kitchen.

There are several ways, but I am going to show you the most practical since I doubt you are interested in carving a spiral design into your fruit.

Pre-dessert: Pineapple Carved Table-side

Pre-dessert: Pineapple Carved Table-side (Photo credit: ulterior epicure)

Carefully cut off the top

Notice the dark “eyes” around the edge and the round core.

Place the edge of your knife behind the eyes and cut the peel off.

Cut all the way down

Viola! Peeled Pineapple!

Slice it into thick rounds

Cut the rounds into quarters, leaving triangle shapes, the core being the tip. You can cut the tips off, or leave them as something to hold onto while eating with your fingers. Or use a fork and knife.

Place the cut pineapple in a nice dish and serve.

Step 1)

Lay the pineapple on one side and carefully cut off the top.

Step 2)

Stand the pineapple up and make a cut from the top to the bottom just behind the round brown ‘eyes’

Step 3)

Continue cutting all the way around until all peel has been removed

Pâté de Fruit et “Pâté du Vin”

These gleaming tender fruit gems known as “Pâté de Fruit” are delicious and irresistible. There are so many different recipes for these fruit geleés. If you want a real quality product, use a recipe that includes glucose syrup and pectin rather than gelatin.

These are considered quite a special gift and if purchased, this quality could be expensive.

Remember “Chuckles” candy from your childhood? Those are similar to fruit geleé but they had gelatin.

Gelatin, in my opinion, leaves the geleés much too “tough” and bouncy. The whole concept is for the geleé to have a slight tooth that melts into a pool of exploding fruit or wine flavor. There should be nothing to chew, just a lovely melting in your mouth and the slight crunch of the coating sugar.

The actual time required to make these isn’t much but it needs your full attention for about 20-30 minutes.

You have to whisk constantly while the mixture is on the heat. Then act fast after you remove it from the heat because the geleé mixture sets quickly.

Have everything you need ready to pour. After you pour the cooked mixture into the desired mold, let it sit for at least 8 hours, or longer, to set.

Do not refrigerate. Refrigeration will melt the sugar on the geleés.

So, Here’s how you do it

Please weigh all ingredients.

If you don’t have a small digital scale, go buy one. It is essential if you are serious about baking. They are not expensive but you can pay as much as you want to for one.

Wine or Fruit Geleé “Pâté de Vin/Fruit”

  • 3 ounces unsweetened applesauce
    • Spread it out on a parchment lined sheet pan. Place it in a preheated 200°F oven for 30 minutes. This is to evaporate some of the moisture out of the applesauce. Scrape it up with a bench scraper or spatula and put it into a heavy bottomed sauce pan with the following ingredients:
  • 8 ounces wine OR smooth and strained fruit puree (raspberry, strawberry, mango, passion fruit, pineapple, etc.)
  • 1 ounce light Karo syrup made without High Fructose Corn Syrup or use glucose syrup
  • One  3-ounce package liquid pectin or 3 ounces powdered pectin (not the one for low sugar)
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 8 ounces granulated sugar for dusting the finished geleé

While applesauce is drying in the oven, prepare the mold you want to use. Spray it with non-stick pan spray or line it with parchment paper. Leave an overhang to make removing the geleé from the pan easy.

Blend the wine or fruit puree with the applesauce, syrup, liquid pectin in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.

If using powdered pectin, mix it with a small amount of the sugar to help prevent clumping.

Over high heat, while whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil.

Add half of the sugar, once it melts and nears boiling, add the remaining sugar.

Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Whisk constantly to avoid scorching and clumping.

Add the lemon juice.

Working quickly, pour into desired molds, smooth with a spatula, cover with an oiled parchment paper and let sit for 8-12 hours.

If you made one pan, remove the geleé to a cutting board and cut into desired shapes.

If you used candy or silicone molds remove them carefully from the molds.

Dip each geleé into sugar to coat. Serve or place in an airtight container and hold them at room temperature for several months.

If you like these and enjoy making fruit geleés, check out  Passion Fruit Geleés by Savory Simple.

Our recipes area similar and she has cups and tablespoon measurements on her recipe for Passion Fruit Geleé.

Enjoy making and eating these tender morsels of Pâté de Fruit or Pâté de Vin. I think they are quite special.