Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Italian National Drink: Limoncello!

Hi Everyone,
This week, I have started my batches of Limoncello and Arancello.  I thought it might be fun to show you how this works.  It will be in two segments.  First, the prep and the beginning of the process, as the Grain Alcohol begins to absorb the lemon (or orange, as the case may be).  Second will be the finishing off and bottling. 

The process takes two weeks for the initial soak of the skins in the Grain Alcohol, and then one more week as the sugar water (called Simple Syrup) is added and the finishing happens before it is bottled.

Anyway, here goes:
First, it is very important that you use the freshest possible produce.  Here in Rhode Island, I am very confident in the fruit at Confreda Farm, as they are the local Farmer's Market and also have two wonderful farms of their own. Be sure to get fruit with thick peels, as this will help as lot in the process.  You will need about 15 lemons or oranges for each 750 ml of Grain Alcohol.
Wash produce, in case there are any residual pesticides on the skins, as this is what you will be using in your Lemoncello or Orangecello.  Drain the fruit in a collander. 


Next, using a potato peeler that has a very sharp blade (be careful!), peel the fruit, being careful to get as little as possible of the "white" of the peel portion as is possible.  A lot of "white" will make your limoncello or orangecello bitter, and you don't want that.  So, what you are looking at is like citrus zest, but in peeled sheets, as in the picture.
Put the peeled lemon or orange skins into the jar with the 750 ml Grain Alcohol.  Cover tightly and place in a cool dark place for two weeks, so that the lemon or orange will infuse well into the alcohol.

NEXT TIME (IN TWO WEEKS): The second part.

Now before I leave you for this time, let me say a word about the fruit.  As I said above, you only use the skins in the Limoncello or Arancello.  So, what happens to all that lovely fruit???  Well, what I do is borrow my sister's fruit juicer and run the fruit through it, after taking all the "white" off-- see picture.  This will make the most delicious orange juice or the most beautifully pungent lemon juice that you have ever tasted!  So, as with most Italian recipes, nothing is wasted!

Back at ya' in two weeks with part 2!
Till then,
Take care and be happy,

No comments:

Post a Comment