Thursday, 10 September 2009

L. L. L. Limoncello!!

Posted by: Paul Gardener
A posse ad esse (From possibility to reality)

Exerpted and edited from two previous blog entries. Autumn is around the corner here in the Northern hemisphere, but I thought a nod to Spring was in order for my friends in the South. Cheers!

I tried a new experiment yesterday. It's something that I've wanted to do for some time and yet, somehow, after I brought home the fresh Meyer lemons from my moms tree a couple of months ago, I didn't think of it.These, I'm telling you, are the best damn lemons I've ever had! Every time I've cut them, or used them for anything I am over whelmed with the sheer lemoneyness (is that a word? It is now!) of them.

So as I was saying, I brought home a big bag of these from my visit with the folks 2 months ago. I love them so much I wanted to make sure that I used them for something that would really capture the essence of them. The problem was, I mostly use lemons in the Summer with our fresh fruits and veggies and they just aren't there yet.

Then, last week, while A~ and I were at the liquor store we were talking and joking and then mentioned Limoncello and BANG! Brainstorm! I can't think of anything that would better capture the sweet lemoneyness (yeah, there's that new word again...feel free to use it anytime...) than some delicious homemade Limoncello. I found a pretty easy recipe online that even I could do on my own and that I needed nothing special to do.I used a regular potato peeler to peel the rind off the lemons into thin but wide strips of the zest from 10 lemons.

I later made sure that I juiced the lemons so as not to waste any of the lemons whatsoever. That will be getting concentrated with some sugar into a special summer treat to make some lemonade with.I added all the lemon zest peels into a large bowl and poured a full new 750 ml bottle into the bowl on top of them. Next I used a potato masher to give the peels a light pressing, not enough to crush them just enough to make me feel like I did a little work you know?

The recipe is as follows:
10 lemons
1 (750-ml) bottle vodka
3 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar

You can see that there's a good bit of water and sugar added after the lemons have had a chance to steep in the Vodka for 4 days. I'll need to make a simple syrup from the sugar and water in a couple of days and then cool it completely before adding it to the strained out Vodka. Then I can refrigerate it for easily a month.

I have to add to this that I did give it a little "one day" test tonight by adding a bit of it to a little sugar and water just to check if it's doing anything. Oh man I can't wait!! It was soooooo goood! Wish I could have you all up for a visit and a sample. Oh yeah, and by the way in case you were wondering how these lemons held up for two whole months in the fridge. They were literally no different than any fresh lemons that I may have picked up in the store the day before. It truly was a testament to how long fresh lemons can last. Hmm? makes me wonder how old those lemons in the store are?

By the power of the blogoshpere, let's jump forward to four days later....

Yes, that fast, it is completed. I steeped it for four days, then strained and added the cooled simple syrup mixture and voila. Limoncello. I decided to take the pictures outside to really give you an idea of the beautiful irridenscent glow of the finished product. It looks deeply golden indoors, but with some light turns the most pale, fragile yellow. It really is a liquor made just for spring.
Drink it chilled, whether just refrigerated or nearly frozen, and you have a treat for after dinner that you'll truly enjoy. Particularly if you're a lover of all things lemon like me.
Here's to life.
Here's to Spring.
Here's to you!!