A couple years ago we took a really great trip to Italy and although I’m not much of a drinker, I did want to try the Limoncello. I never got around to it though, as pretty much each time I might have tried it, there was a choice between Limoncello and Gelato and Gelato won every time. So before we left for our recent vacation, I decided to make my own. Now back, it was time to finish it up as the recipe calls for a long “rest” of 10-40 days to build the lemon flavor.
The first thing I learned was that to make the Limoncello you need lemons, lots of lemons, and you only use the peel.
1 750 ml bottle of vodka
3 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1. Wash the lemons with a mild dish soap using a vegetable brush, then rinse and dry them well.
|2 With a vegetable peeler, peel thin strips making sure not to go too deep as you don’t want to have any of the white pith which is bitter. Save the lemons for another use – hence the companion recipe for lemon sherbet.|
|3 Place the peels in a large glass jug, pour the vodka over it, cover with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 10-40 days (the longer, the stronger the lemon flavor will be).|
|4 After the desired number of days sitting, stir the water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool, then pour the sugar syrup over the vodka mixture, cover and let stand at room temperature over night.|
|5 Strain the limoncello and transfer to bottles.|
It is best served well chilled (stored in the freezer is best). The limoncello tasted great to me, just like lemondrop candy. Of course, I’m not sure I’m the best judge since I’ve never had the “real” stuff to compare it to but it works for me and nobody else has complained so it must be ok.
Now I had 10 peeled lemons left so I decided to make sherbert. The first batch of sherbert was so tart it was hard to eat so I had to adjust the sugar and since there was so much juice I had to 5X the original recipe so we had a lot of sherbet. It was exceptionally refreshing though for summer and actually went pretty quickly.
2 1/2 cups lemon juice
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 cups milk
4 cups powdered sugar
|1 Juice the lemons left over from the limoncello – you should have about 2 1/2 cups|
|2 Mix the lemon juice with the cream, milk and sugar.|
|3 Freeze in batches in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturers directions|
|4 If you don’t have an ice cream machine, you can put the mix in a large stainless steel pan, cover with plastic wrap and put it in the freezer stirring every half hour. It won’t be as smooth but still tastes great. After 4-6 hours when the mixture is firm but not icy hard, transfer to a plastic container making sure you cover it well to prevent ice crystals from forming on the top.|