Friday, January 22, 2010

Mary's Limoncello

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This delicious after-dinner drink recipe comes from Mary Park of Marina, CA, pictured here with her husband, Robert. Mary, originally from Hilo and Robert from Honolulu, have been married for 57 years with 7 children, 9 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. They are the parents of my good friend Phyllis Hays-Martin. I love that both Mary and Phyllis are adventuresome cooks, willing to try out new recipes on their friends and family. This limoncello is a wonderfully sweet and tart "digestivo", an Italian lemon liquor originating from the Southern Italy region. This was a Giada De Laurentiis recipe but has been adjusted slightly. You can barely see the limoncello in this photo as it was so good and a perfect ending to a delicious meal cooked by Phyllis.

10 lemons
1 (750 ml) bottle Vodka
3-1/2 cups water
2-1/2 cups sugar (cut this down, as it is very sweet otherwise)

Rinse the lemons. Remove the peel in long strips using a vegetable peeler. Trim away the white pith from the lemon peels and discard the pith. Place the lemon peels in a 2-quart pitcher.

In a large saucepan stir the water and sugar over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved (about 5 min.). Pour the hot syrup over the peeled lemon rinds, and let it stand for a few minutes, then pour a quart of vodka into the lemon mixture. Let the lemons steep in the vodka for 5 days at room temperature. Strain the limoncello through a mesh strainer. Discard the peels and transfer to bottles. Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to one month. Simply delicious!

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