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patience is a virtue

In yesterday’s post we were able to use preserved lemons that we made two weeks ago, today the wait will be a bit longer. Eighty days to be exact, that does take a bit of patience! The first step takes 40 days and the second step another 40 days, so if we get going on it today, we will be sipping our limoncello at the end of May, just as the kids are getting out of school (at least here in Scottsdale, when the last day is May 26th!) On April 17th, we will do step two and on May 26th, we will not only complete the process but there will be a wonderful celebratory pie recipe using limoncello awaiting you too! It WILL be worth it!

Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur produced mainly in Southern Italy in the region around the Amalfi coast and the islands of Procida, Ischia, and Capri. Traditionally, it is made from the Sorrento lemon, although any lemon will produce a fine limoncello. It is traditionally served chilled as an after dinner digestive, served in small ceramic glasses which are also chilled.

Limoncello has only recently become well known in other parts of the world. It is a popular ingredient in cocktails, as it brings a strong lemon flavor without the bitterness of lemon juice. The liqueur gained notoriety in the United States in November, 2006, when actor Danny DeVito appeared on the The View still drunk from drinking limoncello the night before with his friend George Clooney. DeVito announced, “I knew it was the last seven limoncellos that was going to get me.”  I’ve never before wished I could have been Danny DeVito! Ah, to be enjoying the wonderful limoncello with the wonderful George Clooney, a dream come true!

There are many recipes for Limoncello, my favorite comes from Joanne Weir, an award-winning cooking teacher, cookbook author, and chef. This version comes from her book, Weir Cooking – Recipes from the Wine Country. Joanne is an annual teacher at Les Gourmettes Cooking School and always produces the most fantastically flavorful food. Joanne’s recipe makes 4 bottles (750 ml each), I only make that much during the holidays to give as gifts, here I’ve cut it in half for my own supply.

A little explanation on the pictures: #1 The jar doesn’t need to be That big – but it does need to be large, because after the 40 days, an additional 4 1/2 cups of liquid will be added. #2 No explanation needed – it’s George Clooney for goodness sake! #3It is extremely important to wash the lemons well, with soap and then rinse well. The only part of the lemon you are using is the peel and you need it to be clean! #4 The lone piece of peel on the right has too much pith on it, the other pieces are perfect, just use a light hand when peeling the lemons, don’t press in too hard.

CLICK HERE for Step 2

CLICK HERE for Step 3


7 large lemons
1 bottle 100 proof vodka (750 ml)

Wash the lemons well with soap and water and rinse well. Peel the lemons with a vegetable peeler, avoiding the white pith from the back of the peel.  Place the peels in a large glass jar along with 1/2 of the bottle of vodka (1 1/2 cups). Cover and place in a dark place for 40 days.

That’s it for now! You’ll get the rest of the recipe on April 17th, I told you, patience is a virtue, so be virtuous along with me!

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1 Joanne { 03.08.10 at 5:38 PM }

Thanks for including me in your blog. I am so happy you like my recipe. GREAT blog! It is obvious you put your heart into it!

2 Linda Hopkins { 03.08.10 at 6:26 PM }

Oh Joanne, it makes me so happy you found this post, I put it up in a hurry and didn’t have time to add in links or proof-read it… so “pell” the lemons is now “peel” as it should be. Looking forward to seeing you in April! xoxo

3 …40 days later… — Les Petites Gourmettes { 08.12.10 at 10:47 AM }

[…] CLICK HERE for Step 1 […]

4 Finito – limoncello — Les Petites Gourmettes { 08.12.10 at 10:54 AM }

[…] CLICK HERE for Step 1 […]

5 as requested… — Les Petites Gourmettes { 08.13.10 at 10:28 AM }

[…] thawed 1 750 ml bottle Riesling or Gewürztraminer 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice 1/4 limoncello liqueur Ice Lemon slices, […]

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