Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Lovely Day To Make... Limoncello!

Happy Sunday!! Today we were promised rain, rain, rain. All I have seen is sun, sun, sun. Just look!!

Proof, from my backyard, that today has been sunny & cloud-free. Never mind! The sunshine gave me the perfect inspiration to make some delicious limoncello!! (Recipe here)

First, make sure you have 750ml of this:

Then take 6 lemons, give them a bit of a wash, and plonk them in a saucepan, covered with boiling water.

Leave them sitting like this for an hour.
In the meantime, make yourself some sugar syrup. Combine 1 cup of sugar with 1 and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. A pretty stirring spoon is a fantastic option, but not essential...

Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. If it doesn't fully dissolve, your syrup's going to be grainy.

All melted! Now, bring your heat up to medium-high and bring it to the boil. Watch it boil for a few minutes until it starts to thicken. Now, don't think, as I did, that it will be very thick at all. While hot, it only thickens slightly - basically you can tell it's thick enough when it's sort of drizzling off the spoon rather than dripping off it. It took me 2 batches of sugar syrup to work this out... blush!

Once the sugar is somewhat syrup-y, put aside to cool.

Once your lemons have been soaking for an hour, start grating them to get the rind. MAKE SURE to avoid grating any of the white pith just under the yellow skin, or you will end up with disgustingly bitter limoncello!
Take a peek at how much rind I got from my 6 lemons:

Don't rind if I do! *sorry, sorry*....
Combine your rind with your 750ml of vodka (I actually only used 700ml because I was being stingey and didn't want to open my 2nd bottle). I combined it in a bowl with a lip so it would be easier to transfer to a jug for pouring. If you have a jug that's big enough, just combine everything straight in there.

Mmm.. Chunky! Now, assuming your sugar syrup is cool, you can add it to your chunky lemon-vodka mixture. Then, transfer it to a couple of sterilised bottles***

This needs to sit for a month (a MONTH!), stored in a cool dark place and shaken every now and then. At the end of the month, you need to strain out all the chunks of rind, put it back in your bottles, and you have delicious limoncello! I can't wait to start making lemon drops and lemon mimosas in the Spring :)

Oh, and the final step is to track down any cute boys you might have in the house and proudly show them your wares. I found 3 cute boys in my house...

Needless to say, they were all very impressed!

*** To sterilise my wine bottle (the vodka bottle was freshly opened so was good to go) I filled it with 1 cup of warm vinegar, then topped it off with boiling water, and let it sit for 20 minutes with the lid on. Next I tipped that down the sink, filled the sink with boiling water and let the open bottle rest in there, covered with water, for another 20 minutes. My mother-in-law passed this tip onto me :)

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