How to peel a fruit

How to peel a fruit
Usually French chefs says "peler à vif", which means to completely peel the fruit (removing skin and core) and keep only the very best of the flesh. Here is a method for grapefruit, but it can be used for all the other citrus fruit, and many other fruits.
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Last modified on: February 21th 2011

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You will need:
  • 1 grapefruit 1 grapefruit
  • Total weight: 340 grams

How long does it take?
Time required for this recipe:
PreparationStart to finish
32 min.32 min.
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 2 min.
How to peel a fruit
You will need the following utensils:Cut top and bottom off the fruit.

Stage 2 - 3 min.
How to peel a fruit
Split the skin vertically into 4 quarters of similar size.

Stage 3 - 2 min.
How to peel a fruit
Pull off the quarters of skin. With them you can make delicious candied peel.

Stage 4 - 2 min.
How to peel a fruit
If necessary, trim any remaining white pith from top and bottom.

Stage 5 - 1 min.
How to peel a fruit
Put the fruit in front of you, remove the white pith by cutting in vertical strips all round the fruit.

Stage 6 - 2 min.
How to peel a fruit
Complete the operation by trimming off any remaining bits of pith. It's easier if you turn fruit upside down at this stage.

Stage 7 - 7 min.
How to peel a fruit
You should get a "clean" fruit. It is now "pelé à vif", but you need to separate the segments of flesh.

Stage 8 - 1 min.
How to peel a fruit
For the first segment, choose a large one and cut from the outside towards the centre, following the left-hand membrane (transparent skin).

Stage 9 - 2 min.
How to peel a fruit
Then do the same thing with the right-hand membrane.

Stage 10 - 1 min.
How to peel a fruit
And so separate the first segment.

Stage 11 - 1 min.
How to peel a fruit
For all the other segments, start again with the left-hand membrane, and cut from outside to centre.

Stage 12 - 1 min.
How to peel a fruit
Now comes the critical moment, when the blade of your knife reaches the centre: turn it gently half a turn (exacty as if you were turning a key to lock a door), and continue cutting, this time back from the centre towards the outside.

Stage 13 - 1 min.
How to peel a fruit
You will notice that there is only a little to cut, because the turn pratically detaches the segment.

Stage 14 - 1 min.
How to peel a fruit
Then remove the segment... You might need to finish by removing a few pips or pieces of membrane.

Stage 15 - 5 min.
How to peel a fruit
Do this for all segments.

Stage 16
Have a look at this short video, to see how to peel a grapefruit...

Stage 17
...and in this one, a kiwi.
This operation is rather long, but what a result! If you make a fruit salad like this you will be surprised (so will your guests) by the sweetness of your dessert (no hint of bitterness from the pith).

I suggest that you work over a strainer on a bowl, or use a chopping board with a small reservoir to keep the fruit juice that runs out. Similarly, squeeze all unused parts of the fruit before discarding them.
Several hours in the fridge, covered by a plastic film.
Home made.
Nutritional information
Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
129 Kcal or 540 Kj2 gr31 gr0 gr
6 %1 %3 %0 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
38 Kcal or 159 Kj1 gr9 gr0 gr
2 %<1 %1 %0 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).
How much will it cost?
  • For : 0.51 €

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Note: Be careful, these prices are only an estimate, you can consult the table of prices by ingredients used for this estimate.
This recipe uses (among others)
GrapefruitGrapefruit: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: Fruit salad, Candied grapefruit peel, Grapefruit cake, Pear, grapefruit and pistachio tart, Fresh fruit in sabayon, ... All
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