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This famous liqueur is easy to make, you need just three ingredients.
In my family home, in Sicily, there are a couple of lemons tree; they are small, but able to produce a good amount of fruits, scented and juicy.
Lemons are among the "basic ingredients" of sicilian food, we boil the zest together with bay leaves to prepare a digestive tisane, we wrap the meatballs in the lemon leaves before grill them on the barbecue, we mix lemon jucy with extra virgin olive oil and oregano to season fish and meet.
I think it’s impossible to find a sicilian home without a bunch of lemons in the kitchen. So while I lived in Sicily I didn't care about them, as for all things you consider “normal” in your life, but when I moved toTuscany I started to miss them.
Unfortunately most of the lemons I buy here are sour and without juice.
Last year, taking advantage of a long car trip Sicily/Tuscany, I took with me a little lemon tree. The girls and Ulisse, the cat, were no so happy to share their little space with the guest, my mother was skeptical… a sicilian tree in the cold North ??? Uhmm….
I know, lemon trees need good weather, with mild temperatures, which rarely come under zero, but I'm an headhard woman
My little lemon three passed last the winter in my terrace, covered with a soft sheet. In spring he gave me some scented blossom, photographed and sent via whatsapp to family and friends, of course.
The first lemon is still growing ... I know, it's not a big prodution, but I'm so proud :-)
While I wait to taste my first florentine lemon, my mother continues to send me fruits from my sicilian trees, never less than 30 each time, small lemons, not so pretty like any true and organic food, but so sweet, juicy and their smell... their smell is summer.
And summer is Limoncello.
The limoncello is one of the most famous italian liqueur, something that calls your mind the imagine of dinner “al fresco”, sharing food with friends.
Unfortunately it's not inusual to taste bad version of the original liqueur, to sweet and with artificial yellow colour, so I love to make the limoncello by myself, it's so incredible easy to make. Come on, give it a try!
12 organic lemons (14 if they are small) - 1 litre grain alcohol - 1.100 litre water - 800 g. sugar
Wash the lemons and dry well. Cut out the zest using a peeler. This is an important step, make attention to take just the yellow part, the white is bitter.
Put the zest in a jar and add the alcohol.
Close the lid and place the jar in a dark place for minimum 15 days. If you remember, shake the jar every day.
After this time, the day you prepare the limoncello, place water and sugar in a heavy pan,on low flame.
Bring to the boil and cook until the sugar is melted.
Put out of the flame and let it cool.
Add the alcohol to the syrup passing it through a strainer to take out the lemon zest.
Fill the clean bottles and your limoncello is ready.
- get the best lemons you can find, with a good thick zest;
- use organic lemons;pesticides remain on the fruit skin and the alcohol will absorbe them during the infusion time;
- Don't waste your peeled lemons, you can store some in the fridge for few days and you can squeeze the rest and store the juice in ice cube tray... you will have ready to use lemon juice when you'll need it;
- you can you the same amount of water and alcohol for a stronger taste;
- use cleaned and sterilized bottles;
- with this recipe you will have about 3 liters of limoncello;
- we use to drink the limoncello well cold. Store one bottle in the fridge and the rest in a dry and fresh place
- we also love to put the empty limoncello glass in the freezer for half an hour before serving.