The juice of lemons and oranges are frequently used for recipes. I have baked with them, and fun fact; I don’t own a squeezer despite 4 years of baking! I simply juice them with bare hands without the assistance of a machine ( GASP! ).
It isn’t as difficult as you think it is, and here’s a step by step guide with pictures on how I did so, and so can you! These lemon squares I baked by using hand squeezed lemon juice shall bear testimony to the possibility and my success!
Okay first up, I am really clueless about how many people actually use a squeezer or any other devices to juice these citrus fruits. Personally for me, I have never owned one of these devices. As such when it comes to baking my recipes such as the Lemon Drizzle Cake, I squeeze the juice out of these lemons ( or oranges ) by hand!
Honestly though, a squeezer doesn’t really cost much ( I assume ). But I have never seen the need to require one at least for these oranges and lemons. Perhaps I might not get as much citrus juice, but there’s still a relatively high yield!
Also, I feel really slightly barbaric like HOO HA look at me using brute force to traumatized these lemons and oranges. No worries though, no one knows what happen in the kitchen!
Step 1: Grate and remove the zest of the orange / lemon first if required for the recipe.
Many recipes that require the juice of lemons and oranges usually call for their zests to be incorporated into the batter as well. This is simply because the zests of these fruits will also infuse citrusy flavour into the batter, making a really pleasant bake.
For this, you would really have to use a box grater or any other graters because I have never figured out how to zest a lemon or orange by hand! Seems so impossible or tedious! Do remember to remove the stickers! You don’t want them to be incorporated into your bake! I really can’t imagine how will that end up! Would it even be edible?!
Step 2: Cut the oranges or lemons into halves
Using a very sharp knife, cut the oranges or lemons into halves. Do not use a blunt knife here or you risk having a lot of citrus juice splattering all over you!
I would suggest taking the sharp point of the knife and piercing it into the middle of the orange or lemon to create an indent through the rind, and then chopping it into half.
Do remember to use your master hand to hold the knife, and your non master hand to grip the lemon or orange tightly as well! Please do not cut yourself because we are not after human juice here!
Step 3: Hand squeeze the lemon or the orange
Using a very large and shallow bowl, squeeze the lemon or the orange by hand by gripping tightly. This will force some juice to come out first as the pressure causes the pulp to burst and release these aromatic citrus juices.A large bowl is needed here to catch as much juice as possible since it might splatter everywhere. Another alternative is to face the lemon down, and using the other hand that’s not squeezing, create a shield around the lemon or the orange.
Step 4: Use a fork to burst the remaining pulp
Using a fork, apply pressure against the remaining pulp by pressing it against the inner white layer of the orange or the lemon. This pressure will further release the orange or the lemon juice that wasn’t released at first when you squeeze it by hand.
Then, repeat step 3 once more.
Step 5: Pass the juice through a sift
As you squeeze the lemons and the oranges, along with popping it’s pulp, you would have noticed that some solids have entered the juice mixture. You would probably encounter some pulp or seeds that end up in the juice mixture.As such, pass the juice mixture to remove the pulp and seeds, to finally obtain a liquid solution of orange or lemon juice!
Honestly, you can of course just buy a squeezer. But why I still stick to this method is because I don’t see a need to buy one if I can already do it by hands. Also, I took less than 5 minutes from start to finish. As such, I don’t really see a need for the investment.
It’s really that simple and with equipment you already have. I won’t even consider the fork an equipment!
Applications of this method would probably be most useful when you have to juice lemons or oranges at someone else’s place or if you’re just going to be juicing lemons or oranges as a one off thing. There’s the least need to buy a squeezer in these cases.
If you eat and use oranges and lemons at a frequent rate, then perhaps a squeezer will make your life way easier!
Below are some recipes that I have made, by simply using this method to juice the lemons and oranges without a squeezer. I hope you will consider looking through them!
On a side note, do tell me if you have any great orange or lemon bake recipes that you’re interested for me to try or if you would like to share your bakes with me!
Do contact me if you have any queries regarding the methods and I will either answer them or improve on my presentation! Onward without a squeezer!
– Bakeomaniac, Javier Tan!