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!

Glazed Lemon Shortbread

Glazed Lemon Shortbread

My son loves these. He is going back to school soon and when he gets there, a box of these sweet treats from home will be waiting.

This twist on traditional shortbread adds fresh lemon zest in the mix and fresh lemon juice in the glaze. One secret is to use a very fine microplane on the fruit so the zest is very fine.

If you like the lemon version, branch out and try making them with orange, or lime or tangerine or grapefruit. Kumquat maybe?

The amazing part of good shortbread is how they just melt in your mouth. Then take a nice sip of tea. Sit back and enjoy.

There are several pictures at the end of the post, so scroll down.

Glazed Lemon Squares

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar (10x)
  • Zest from 1/2 lemon (Use the other half in the glaze)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Using a mixer on high-speed, cream butter,  10x sugar, zest and vanilla 3-4 minutes; until light and fluffy.

While the butter and sugar are creaming, measure and mix the flour and salt into a bowl.

Scrape down the bowl.

On low-speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar.

Mix only until the mixture comes together and resembles crumbs.

Do not over mix! Over mixing will develop the gluten in the flour and give you a ‘tough cookie’ rather than a tender one.

Transfer the dough to a non-stick 9 x 12 cake pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and pat the dough evenly into the pan.

Place in the refrigerator or freezer until the dough becomes thoroughly chilled.

Traditionally, you can prick the shortbread with a fork for decoration. You can choose not to.

If, for some reason, you get a wild hair on and decide to add baking powder to the mix, I would strongly suggest you do prick the dough to prevent bubbles and warping.

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Clean up the kitchen.

Once the dough is chilled, place it in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden brown. The shortbread will remain pale.

Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

Cut the shortbread while still warm. You get a cleaner cut edge.

Once cooled; remove the cut shortbread and put them on a rack which is placed over a clean sheet pan.

Make the glaze just before you are going to pour it over the cookies.

Be sure the cookies are completely cool so the glaze does not run or melt off.

Randomly pour the glaze. You can do it randomly or evenly, which ever you prefer.

DO NOT spread the glaze as the cookies are crumbly and you will not have a smooth glaze. If you make a lot of glaze you can cover them and decorate them like petit fours.

I like to sprinkle a fine touch of finely ground fleur de sel on the top of the shortbread cookies.

Sweet, tart, salty, smooth. . .

To make the Lemon Glaze:

  • Zest from the other half of the lemon used in the mix
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar (10x)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Sift the sugar to ensure no lumps.

Add the zest, stir it in and then add the juice. Mix until smooth with a fork. Whisking will add too many bubbles.

Pour over cooled shortbread cookies.

Allow glaze to dry about an hour longer before storing.

Use a fine Microplane to zest the fruit

Cream butter and sugar. Don't forget to scrape down the bowl sides.

Add flour; mix only until combined

Cover with plastic, pat evenly into pan. Chill.

Cut while still warm for a clean edge.

Place on a rack and glaze