Zesting and segmenting citrus

Zesting and segmenting citrus

By
From
PS Desserts
Photographer
Mark Roper

Citrus fruits are the jewels of winter. They are the support act to so many of my desserts. The zest and the juice play different roles, adding fragrance, sweetness and acid to both savoury and sweet dishes. Rubbing the zest into the sugar boosts the citrus flavour tenfold because the precious oils are absorbed by the sugar.

Rubbing zest Into sugar

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
caster sugar
your choice of citrus fruit, washed, (see note)

Method

  1. Place the sugar in a bowl. Use a fine Microplane grater to remove the zest from the citrus. Grate the zest directly into the bowl with the sugar to catch all the oils. Don’t apply too much pressure or you will remove some of the bitter pith when all you want is the surface of the skin that contains the oil and fragrance.
  2. Rub the zest into the sugar using the tips of your fingers.
  3. The sugar absorbs the oils and takes on the flavour and colour of the zest. It is ready to use as directed in the recipe.

Segmenting citrus

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
your choice of citrus fruit

Method

  1. Use a super sharp knife to remove the skin and white pith from the fruit, slicing with smooth, firm strokes from the top to the base.
  2. Segment the citrus by sliding the knife between the dividing membrane. If your knife is not very sharp, you will tear the little nobules that hold the juice and you will end up with raggedy segments.

Note

  • Always choose brightly coloured fruit when using the zest and don’t forget to wash them, otherwise, if they have been in contact with another mouldy citrus, the mould may linger and impart an off odour to your dishes.

Note

  • Segment the fruit as close to serving as you can, so they retain their gloss, freshness and juiciness.

    Use a very sharp knife so you don't damage the segments.
Tags:
PS
Desserts
Philippa
Phillipa
Sibley
sweet
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