Georgia's State Flags,
Home of Good Eats
|Let us begin with the exterior. Okay, now the outer rind, the orange part, is home to aromatic oil glands that erupt like geysers when scraped, cut or twisted. Now these oils are the world's most potent source of not only orange flavor but aroma. You can probably smell them from here. I can. Oh. I'm sorry, of course you can't. Anyway, if handled correctly, this outer layer can add 'zest' to many a dish. But there's a challenge, okay, because just underneath that very, very thin layer is a substance more bitter than defeat, the pith. So mining the zest will require not only specialized hardware, but polished technique.||
Now if a finely grated zest is
desired, then I suggest using a micro rasp like this, okay? Simply strum the
orange across the zester, and not the other way around. Don't go, you know,
mowing on it like you're playing the violin, okay? Just lay it upside down and
stroke, turning the orange as you go so you only get that very, very thin outer
layer, okay? See? All orange, all the time. That's what you want.
Now if you want a bigger piece of zest, that could be called for, use a vegetable peeler. Serrated would be best, and simply take off a piece of peel and don't worry about the pith, in this case. All right, get a big piece, and then get yourself a paring knife or a pocket knife, and just scrape the pith off. And notice that I'm holding the blade so that it won't cut. Now you can mince this, julienne it, or just use it as is.
|Now let us turn our attention to the interior of the orange, a very different environment. Now the inside of a mature orange contains a number of segments, anywhere from 10 to 15. Now each of these is filled with small juice sacks or vesicles. Now each of these segments is then wrapped in a protective and pretty much inedible layer, called the albedo, which has got to go, especially if you plan on using the wedges in salads or desserts, things like that. For this, we use a maneuver called cutting supremes. Here we go.||
Start by cutting a little
piece off of both ends so you can stand the little guy up. Then fillet off the
sides of the peel. Kind of like cutting a cantaloupe, for instance. Then you can
get the knife down in between those pieces of albedo to remove a perfect wedge.
See? And nary a drop of juice spilled.
Of course, sometimes, spilling juice is exactly what you want to do. In fact, most of us in this country who buy citrus buy it specifically to juice it. So, which juicer to use? Well, let's evaluate. First thing I want to do is rule out high-speed electric juicers, which by masticating, centrifuging, or triturating, glean juice from things like grass, wood and, for all I know, small rocks. Oddly, pulp renders them almost completely useless. So they're pretty lousy citrus pals.
Now reamers use a ribbed device, which the juicer twists into the fruit, rupturing the juice sacks. Now I do keep an inexpensive, wood hand reamer around for small jobs. But the large, mounted electric reamers that are meant for harvesting volumes of juice, I find do a bad job. Too much pulp, and they're a big pain in the hand.
The third type of juicer relies simply on pressure, lots of pressure, delivered by a lever.
LEVERMAN: [flying in from off-camera] I'm
Leverman! Greetings, citizen. Good to see you with a lever in your hand.
AB: Wow, Leverman. Gosh, can you tell us what kind of lever this is?
LM: Not only is that a second-class lever, as featured in crowbars, bottle openers, wrenches and wheel barrows, it's a compound lever, in which it uses a lever to ...?
AB: ... create leverage?
LM: Against another lever! Alright, this device can deliver up to 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch.
AB: Wow, that's pretty impressive. But you know what? This one must be even better, because it uses a rack and pinion to convert rotational energy into linear energy.
LM: With a lever!
AB: A lever.
LM: I'm Leverman! [flies off]
I'm sorry, but we had that
suit made back in '99, and we're still trying to pay it off, you know.
Now this is definitely my favorite type of device for this. Although, it is a little on the pricey side, it's worth it. One word of warning though, this type of press [shows a hand-held juicer], don't even bother. It does not produce enough leverage.
LM: [from off-camera] I'm Leverman!
There you go.
An orange is technically
a specialized berry with a leathery exterior.
GUESTS: Itchy & Twitchy
|In 1926, a Mr. Julius Freed opened an orange juice stand in Los Angeles, California only to find that, despite having a fine product, business was rather lackluster. I know how he feels. [indicates the sign that show progressively lower prices]||
One of Freed's associates, a trained chemist, decided to experiment with juice augmentation formulas, and through his finagling, managed to create a concoction that is with us to this day. I speak, of course, of the fa...
ITY & TWCHY: [briskly enter]
Oh, look, my attorneys, Itchy and Twitchy.
AB: Did you guys come over for a delicious ...
IT: [hands AB a document]
AB: Oh, I can't actually say it. Trademarked. Fine.
Well, think of the name of the fruit, followed immediately by the first name of the guy who owned the stand.
AB: Can I do that? Okay? Good.
Now needless to say, the actual formula for the beverage is top secret. But I think we've come close. Real close.
AB: [throws an orange into the air] Catch.
IT: [catches it]
|[at the freezer] Ahh. The key to success? Frozen orange juice. So break out the old ice cube trays. You remember these. And pour in six and a half fluid ounces of fresh-squeezed orange juice. That's probably going to be, well, eight cubes, but the number doesn't really matter. By the way, I always keep these around because they seriously upgrade cheap champagne. But that's another show.||
6½ Ounces Freshly Squeezed
Orange Juice, Frozen
|[at the counter] The cubes go into your favorite blender, along with two ounces of fresh orange juice, the finely grated zest of one half of an orange, half a cup of whole milk, half a teaspoon of vanilla extract. And then the secret ingredient, a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Why powdered sugar? Well, for one thing, it dissolves much faster in cold liquid than granulated sugar, and it contains a small amount of cornstarch as an anti-clumping agent. And that helps to create a creamy texture, not to mention, an attractive, frothy head. Let this run for about one minute and then serve immediately.||
2 Ounces Freshly Squeezed
Zest From Half An Orange
½ Cup Whole Milk
½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Tbs. Powdered Sugar
[serving Itchy and Twitchy] That [serving immediately] is key as the texture will never be as good if you re-whip later. It's got to be icy cold.
TW: [screams with brain-freeze] Ow!
Owwwww! Oh, my God! Aah!
IT: [hands AB a document]
AB: What? What are you ... You're going to sue me over an ice-cream headache?
TW: Owww! Awwww!
GUEST: Wedding Pparty-Goers
Government Agents #1, #2 & #3
[swirling and pouring punch from a bowl at a wedding] If you grew up in the latter half of the 20th century, this may be the only way you've experienced orange sherbet: floating in a pool of ginger ale in a rental punch bowl in a church basement. Pity how low a historic dessert can sink.
WEDDING PARTY GOERS: [come by for hor d'œuvre and punch]
You know, in its earliest
form, sherbet was called "sharâb", an old Arab word meaning "sweetened drink."
This term later evolved into "sharbat", specifically a non-alcoholic fruit drink
which this certainly is. Now in the 16th century, "sharbat" became "sorbetto" in
the hands of the Italians, which then morphed to "sorbet" in French and "sorbete"
in Spain. Only in England did the word maintain the original "h", sherbet.
Now here in America, sherbet contains milk and has a specific definition.
AGENTS #1 & #2: [appear at the sides of AB
with #2 wearing bride headdress and holding flowers]
AGENT #3: Sherbet is a frozen dessert containing a nutritive carbohydrate sweetener and is characterized by a fruit or non-fruit flavorant. Sherbets shall weigh not less than six pounds per gallon and must contain not less than 1 but not more than 2% milk fat, while total milk solids must be between 2 and 5%.
I don't know about you, but I'm not about to let this magnificent dessert languish down here with plates of cucumber sandwiches, mixed nuts and spooky little mints made out of dried toothpaste. Come. Let's away.
|[at the refrigerator] First step, make sure you are in possession of a cup and half of cold, whole milk. And yes, you're going to need some extra space here.||1½ Cups Whole Milk|
|[at the counter] Next, seven ounces, by weight, of sugar go into your food processor's work bowl, along with a tablespoon and a half of finely grated zest from a Navel or Valencia orange, plus two cups of freshly squeezed juice from two to three pounds of juice-worthy oranges. We'll also need a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice to up the acidity a bit, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract to round out the flavor. Last but not least, I always add about a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt to frozen applications like this. Why? Well, because cold numbs the tongue, knocking down flavors, so we need the electrical impulses that salt provides to turn the flavor back up to 11 where it belongs. Spin this for one minute or until the sugar dissolves.||
7 Ounces Sugar
1½ Tbs. Finely Grated
2 Cups Freshly Squeezed
1 Tbs. Freshly Squeezed
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
¼ tsp. Kosher Salt
[back at the refrigerator] Now
combine the orange syrup with the milk and chill for at least two hours. Why?
Because the colder this is when it goes into the churn, the faster it will
freeze, and that means finer ice crystals, and that means a more pleasing
texture upon the tongue.
[back at the counter] When the time and temperature are right, take your mixture for a spin in your ice-cream churn, according to the manufacturer's guidelines, of course. After all, they made it. They ought to know how to use it.
In 20 to 25 minutes, you will have a soft-serve sherbet, which, of course, you could enjoy as it is. However, I prefer to move that to an airtight container and into the freezer. There. It does smell good.
After a few hours of hardening, our sherbet is ready to serve in the classical sense. The little sherbet cup, it's nice, but completely optional. Oh, and of course, now we are well-armed to make repairs to that wedding punch we were looking at a little bit earlier. Of course, it would be really nice if we also had our own homemade ginger ale. But that's another show. Cheers.
In China, it is believed that oranges bring good luck and ward off evil spirits.
Although the classic English
breakfast is famous for having a great many components, to my mind, what really
defines it is the presence of orange marmalade. This curiously tart preserve
containing not only bits of orange but peel. Strange stuff, and with an
Now quince jelly or marmelada came to England on a Portuguese ship back in 1495. Back then it was sold as a solid in a box and was served as an after dinner digestif. But in 1797, a Scottish importer named James Keiller took delivery of a shipment of Spanish oranges in the port of Dundee, I believe. Turned out they were too bitter to eat. But, not wishing to waste them, Keiller's wife, Mrs. Keiller, cooked the oranges with water and sugar, and boom! An overnight breakfast sensation. In Scotland! The English didn't get hip to marmalade until the 19th century/ Which just affirms the old saying, "if it's not Scottish, it's ... [crap]" [takes a bite of toast with marmalade] Mmm.
The heart of our marmalade is one and three-quarter pounds of oranges. Now I'm using Hamlin oranges, a common juice orange, usually packed with an edible wax on top of them to keep them from drying out. I want to get as much of that off as possible. So just brush them under warm water. There. Now I've got five of these. That should do the job. If you happen to encounter Seville oranges during their season, which is really short, usually just a couple of weeks in January, use those. Those are like the absolute perfect, quintessential marmalade orange.
Now I need to knock these down to about an eighth inch in thickness, and the best tool for that is, of course, a mandoline or a v-slicer. Now the tricky thing ...
IT & TW: [enter quickly again]
How did I know my lawyers would show up? Why? Because they want me to use this cursed hand guard because it keeps you from cutting your hand to ribbons. The problem is, I hate these things!
AB: Fetch. [throws it]
IT: [goes to retrieve it]
There's got to be an alternative.
AB: [to TW] There's got to be an
TW: [opens his briefcase and hands AB a glove]
AB: There is an alter ... Whoa! A glove. A Kevlar glove! Ideal.
That'll keep me from cutting myself to ribbons.
AB: Thank you. Fine.
So pick yourself up one of these snazzy guys or you'll have to use the hand guard. There. Now let us dispatch these guys. Just like this. Hmm. Nice shape. There. Now once you've got all of the slices, kind of stack them up very roughly and quarter thusly. And look for any seeds. You want to keep those out if you possibly can. [holding up a seed] To the best of my knowledge, there is no recipe on earth that can render these good eats, so the seeds have got to go.
|Alright, everything goes into a large pot. I've got about an eight-quart model here, something with a nice, wide mouth. There. Into that we will add the zest and juice of one lemon and six cups of water. There we go. Just give that a little bit of a stir. There. Now we're going to put this over high heat, bring to a boil, and then reduce and simmer for 40 minutes or until the peel is very, very soft. Now to some degree, this is about extracting flavor. But it's really about pulling out pectin, a kind of connective tissue in fruits and some vegetables that's analogous to the collagen that is in meat. Orange contains a lot of it, enough to set this marmalade without any help, so we want to give that time.||
1¾ Pounds Oranges,
Zest & Juice From One
6 Cups Water
In the meantime, we will address the hardware. Now putting up preserves, pretty simple business. But there are a few chores we've got to do if we want to make this stuff last on the shelf. As you can see, I have here 10 jars and all the stuff that—[motioning to the camera] come here, don't be shy—all the stuff that goes with it. Rings, funnels, tongs, and whatnot. All of this is going into my canning pot which you see has a rack down in the bottom. This water is hot. I'm going to bring it up to a boil. Everything goes in, because everything has got to be sterilized. The rings have to be sterilized. This funnel needs to be sterilized, the tongs, this ladle, and these tongs, but I'm going to leave these kind of sitting up so I can get them out later. High heat, ten minutes. Then we'll kill the heat and add the lids. These have an adhesive on them. And if we boil them for all that time, that stuff will melt, and that would be bad. I'll be back.
Louis XIV's royal feasts always ended with marmalades and jellies.
|All right. Time is up on our pectin extraction. And as you can see, the orange pieces are very, very, very soft indeed. So crank the heat back to high and add three pounds, 12 ounces of sugar. Now the sugar is going to balance the tartness of the oranges and, of course, will work with the water to form the marmalade itself. Which when you think about it, is nothing but a pectin-set syrup and therefore, technically, a candy, which we will cook to a doneness of 222 degrees.||3 Pounds + 12 Ounces Sugar|
Now riddle me this, kids: Why couldn't we have just dumped in the sugar right at the get-go? Hmm? I'll tell you. Oddly enough, the answer can be found in a scene from a classic Good Eats episode from the past. Now when we originally used this, we were talking about why you want to be careful about when you add salt to oatmeal. All we have to do is change the voiceover and some graphics and check this out.
[a silent clip from Scene 7 of the Oat Cuisine show plays, as it does, AB places cue cards over the graphics to make his point] For a moment, imagine that this dollhouse is a piece of orange peel and that this is pectin. Now pectin's stuck in the house, but look, here comes water. Now water would love to coax pectin outside. And believe you me, pectin would like to run off with water in a big way. But, uh-oh, here comes sugar. And sugar is very, very hygroscopic. And no matter how much pectin pleads, water just can't say no to sugar. He always gets his way. Poor pectin.
Spectacular how things like that occasionally work out. Anyway, that is why we want to wait and add the sugar after our pectin has been extracted.
|Once we hit 222 degrees, our candy, as it is, is ready to go. So extract all of the vessels and tools. And using the ladle and the canning funnel, fill each jar to just under the thread. We need a little room for air expansion. Then once you are done, wipe down all of the rims. No matter how clean you work, believe me, you need to wipe down every single rim or you will not get a good seal. And if you don't get a good seal, you will not have preserves. You will have hairy stuff in a jar.||
Next, the lids. Carefully
apply. And then the rings. And don't worry about getting them tight. There.
Finger-tight is all you need. Because in the end, the suction created when the
jar is cooled down is actually going to do the sealing.
So everything back into the kettle. And you'll notice that there's at least an inch of water over the top of the lids. We're going to boil or process for 10 minutes. You'll notice that a lot of little bubbles come leaking out, and that is good. That means the headspace inside is expanding, and you'll get a good seal. Let them cool and store 24 hours before enjoying.
Good as gold, but a whole lot
tastier. Now toast is certainly the classic application, but you might also try
it on vanilla ice cream. Very tasty.
Well, I hope that we have inspired you to look anew upon the exotic orb that is the orange. Give it a chance. It will provide as much pleasure on your plate as diversity in your decorating decisions. Which reminds me, I've really got to work this out. I think I'm definitely going to go with the Hamlin in the hall and the Berna on the trim.
Transcribed by Michael Roberts
Proofread by Michael Menninger
Last Edited on 08/27/2010