No, you’re not going to have to turn your kitchen into the “Motown” showcase. So go ahead and put away that wig and your platform shoes and simply grab your paring knife. The term supreming is just a jazzed up word describing the specific technique of removing a citrus fruit’s membrane from its more tasty and more desirable flesh in order to use the slices in a dish. Some people like to not be so supremely fancy with the name and just call it “segmenting” an orange. But whatever you want to call it, this technique is especially useful and quite an easy one to master when you are making use of citrus in salads, compotes and even some baked goods.
Using your paring knife, remove about ½ inch from the top and bottom of your orange and set it on its end. Doing this allows the orange to have a steady base and makes it easy for you to control (you don’t want the orange to roll all over your counter; this isn’t rock and roll – this is supreming (besides, we want to always think safety first).
Now the goal of the whole thing is to retain as much delectable fruit as you can – so you don’t want to cut too deep into the flesh. You want to concentrate on revealing the fruit just beneath the peel. So carefully, cut the peel from its flesh beginning at the top and following the fruit’s natural curve with your knife, all the way down to the bottom. Continue this around the fruit until all the peel has been removed.
What now should be revealed is the beautiful flesh of the orange and the white membrane that separates each segment. Now this would be the time, if any, for you to break out in song, “ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough, to keep me from you.” We’ve come too far to let a little membrane keep us from getting our precious fruit slices.
Rolling the orange on its side, insert your knife as close to the membrane as possible and make a parallel slice right to the middle of the orange (make sure to stop at the center of the orange). Repeat this same technique on the other side of that segment. The orange segment should come out easily, leaving only the membrane intact.
Continue this technique, slicing on either side of each and every membrane until you have released all the segments.
So now you know the fundamentals of supreming. You mastered this kitchen technique.
You Did It, High Five Friend!