A Smarter Way to Juice Citrus

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Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we’re sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: Associate Editor Kenzi Wilbur shows us a simple trick for juicing any kind of citrus. Step one: open your utensil drawer. 

A Trick for Juicing Citrus from Food52
A Trick for Juicing Citrus from Food52

No matter how big your kitchen, I firmly believe that we should all play by the small-kitchen rule. If you don’t need a certain tool or appliance — or if you don’t use it regularly use it — it should go. (To a friend, to a neighbor, to a future Yankee swap.) 

That goes for that egg slicer you got in your stocking three Christmases ago, or the new-fangled garlic peeler you inherited from an event gift bag — and if you want it to, that also goes for citrus reamers. (Exception: the beautiful vintage version you just found at the flea market. That stays.) Lovely as they are, they’re not necessary to juicing citrus for your vinaigrettes or your curds. You can, in fact, make lemonade without them. And often, this way will be faster, simpler.

The only thing you need is hiding in your utensil drawer. 

A Trick for Juicing Citrus from Food52
A Trick for Juicing Citrus from Food52

To juice any citrus without a fancy tool, just grab a fork — long-tined is best, for leverage — and insert it into the cut side of a lemon or a lime or whatever you’re wanting juice from. (Make sure you roll the citrus first on a hard surface to loosen up its juices. This will make your job easier.) 

Gently move the fork up and down with one hand while squeezing the fruit with the other. If you’re really on your game, you’ll do this over a strainer (a multi-purpose one, of course) to catch any errant seeds. 

You deserve a citrus dessert for being so efficient.

Warm & Gooey Citrus Pudding 

Serves 4-6

tablespoons butter, softened *note: 1 tablespoon shall be reserved for greasing the dish*
1-1.5 cup sugar (if your citrus is very sweet, use less sugar)
1-2 tablespoon lemon zest (however you can swap for any citrus - lime, grapefruit, orange, blood orange)
large eggs, separated
tablespoons all purpose flour
cup half and half
tablespoons lemon juice (swap for any citrus)
icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit and grease 9”X9” oven safe dish. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl (or bowl of electric mixer), using hand mixer, beat butter, sugar and lemon zest until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks one at a time until incorporated.
  3. Add the flour and half and half alternatively until incorporated, then add the lemon juice until you have a smooth and silky batter.
  4. In a separate bowl, using hand mixer (or a whisk, if you are in need of an arm workout) beat egg whites until fluffy and glossy white, but stiff.
  5. Fold the lemon batter and egg whites together until just combined and pour into baking dish.
  6. Place your baking dish into a larger pan that is at least 1/2 the height of your dessert’s dish and fill with hot (not boiling) water until it reaches 1/2 the way up your lemon dessert’s dish. Note: I like to add the water once the dishes are already placed IN the oven, using a pitcher with a spout as i am not very adept at transferring delicate dessert batter surrounded by water into the oven from the counter without turning the delicate batter into inevitable soup. However if you are graceful and can, please do! Bake for 50 minutes, or until top of dessert is golden brown and cracking. the dessert will still seem giggly, but this is ok as there is a sinful layer of curd at the bottom that will make you swoon. The longer you cook it, the more cakey it will become (which is not necessarily a bad thing!)
  7. Dust with icing sugar, and serve immedietely!

Save and print the recipe on Food52

This article originally appeared on Food52.com: A Trick for Juicing Citrus