Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Anna Sultana’s Limoncello - Lemon liqueur, Maltese Style


A few months ago I posted about how Ma and I used to exchange recipes.
Timing is everything, and this exchange had led to Ma’s Tuscan Sun Chicken.

Under the Tuscan Sun is still one of my favourite movies.
It’s full of life, hope and sun… lots of sun.
Even the poster is bright, cheery and inspiring:
Life offers you a thousand chances… all you have to do is take one.

In Under the Tuscan Sun Frances meets and has a brief romantic affair with Marcello.
Marcello introduced Frances to limoncello, but their relationship does not last.
It had nothing to to with the limoncello.
Not to worry, Frances met another nice man.


In Entertaining with the Sopranos there was a brief mention of limoncello in the chapter Adult Birthday parties:
Known as il liquore del sol - liqueur of the sun - limoncello is a pale yellow tart-but-sweet liqueur beloved by Italians everywhere…
In the United States it costs around $20 to $30 a bottle.
Usually drunk cold after dinner, it’s kept in the freezer, then served in small chilled shooter glasses and sipped slowly.  
It can also be poured over ice cream. 

A few years ago making liqueurs at home was quite popular.
Here’s the recipe for limoncello.

Hints:

The peeled lemons would work in Ma’s Lemon Chicken.

If you want a sweeter drink you can make a simple 50/50 syrup.
You could also use less lemons.
This is a recipe that has many variations throughout Italy and Malta.
Feel free to create your own.


                        Limoncello

Makes 7 cups

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from
10 lemons 
Using a small sharp knife, trim away and discard the white pith.
Place the lemon peels in a 2-quart glass jar.

Pour over the peels
1 (750 ml) bottle vodka
Cover with plastic wrap. 
Place on a shelf and let sit for 4 days at room temperature.

In a large saucepan over medium heat combine
3 1/2 Cups water
2 1/2 Cups sugar

Stir until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. 
Cool completely. 
Pour the sugar syrup over the vodka mixture. 
Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. 
Strain the limoncello through a mesh strainer. 
Discard the peels. 
Transfer the limoncello to bottles. 
Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 month.


Lindsay Duncan, as the character Katherine, had a few memorable lines in Under the Tuscan Sun.  One of my favourites:
Regrets are a waste of time. They're the past crippling you in the present.

Don't have regrets.
Choose another chance... and enjoy a glass of limoncello.

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