Ok first up. Faith and I have decided to start a separate website dedicated to our new event, All Through the Year Cheer. It’s up and running so everyone go check it out 🙂 We hope that everyone will continue to participate in our event and please feel free to spread the word. We will be giving away a lot of great prizes this year too. Also on the site you will learn about our upcoming Thanksgiving event and the time line for your recipe submissions. Ok, without further adieu here is the new site: All Through the Year Cheer.
Now onto the limoncello. Back in August I started making limoncello and now it’s finally time to complete step two. I know it seems to take a long time to make this luscious lemon concoction but as the saying goes “good things come to those who wait.” So while yes, you will wait, you will be rewarded with a delicious liquor before Christmas.
In step one of limoncello making we combined the skins of 15 lemons and one full bottle of 190 proof grain alcohol and 80 proof vodka. After letting that sit for over 40 days the oil in the lemon skins has infused with the alcohol and made a very fragrant (not tasty…just yet) lemon alcohol. You know you are ready to move to step two when scoop out a peel and can snap it in half like a potato chip. If the peel is still flexible and can bend with out breaking put the lid back on the jar and try again in another week.
After you have decided it is time to move on to step two the first thing you will do is make a sugar syrup with 4 1/2 cups sugar and 3 cups distilled water or filtered water. Do not use mineral water. After is has boiled for 5 minutes let is sit and cool to room temperature.
As the sugar syrup is cooling it is time to start taking the lemon peels out of the alcohol. Try to be as careful as possibly not to break the peels into a lot of small pieces. This will make it easier and less messy when you filter your liquor.
After all or most of the peels have been successfully removed it is time to start filtering the limoncello. To do this you will need another clean glass gallon jar, a large funnel and #4 coffee filters.
To strain slowly start pouring liquid from the first glass into the filtered funnel that is sitting on top of gallon glass jar two. Do not fill to high because filters will clog quickly. This process will take a little bit of time. Fill funnel about half full, wait for it to be mostly empty and pour more liquid in. When filters clog simply remove from funnel and replace with new filter.
Halfway through the filtering process I took pictures show how much clearer the infusion became.
After the infusion is filtered into the second glass jar it is time to clean and wash the original jar. After the jar has been cleaned you have to filter the infusion back into the original jar. The process is the same. Use a large funnel and a #4 coffee filters.
After the infusion has been transferred back to the original glass it is time to incorporate the cooled sugar syrup.
After the sugar syrup has been added it is time to stir the infusion and tightly put on the lid. Return to a cool dry place for another 40 days to start the mellowing out process that combines the alcohol infusion with the sugar syrup to create Limoncello.
Ok ladies and gentleman this is step two of the Limoncello process. In 40 or so days I will share the final step. Bottling. If you are interested in making your own limoncello please refer to my first post located here so you can get started correctly. Although I will include the complete set of instructions for Part One and Part Two of Limoncello making. My first post was helpful because it gives great step by step (and pictures!) of the process.
Step One: (You can find the step by step write up here.)
Ingredients and tools for step one:
1 750ml. bottle of vodka 80 proof
1 750ml. bottle of grain alcohol 190 proof
15 large thick skinned bright yellow lemons
A very clean dry gallon glass jar with tight fitting lid
Pour the bottle of Everclear and the bottle of vodka into the gallon jar.
Try to use organic lemons or make sure that lemons are cleaned to remove all pesticides, dirt, and fertilizer chemicals. Dry the lemons.
Use a potato peeler to peel just the yellow part of the skin off the lemons. Make sure you have NO white pith on the back of the peels, because this causes bitterness in the finished liqueur. Try to make the peel pieces as large as possible, because this will make the straining process easier.
Put the lemon peels in the gallon jar and stir gently.
Cover tightly and put away in a cool (not cold) dark place for alcohol to extract oils from peels, creating an infusion.
Days 8, 22, & 36:
Gently stir lemon peels to refresh exposure to alcohol. Return to cool, dark place.
Gently stir lemon peels.
Scoop out one of the larger peels and test flexibility. If peel breaks like a potato chip, you will move on to the next step. If peel is still flexible enough to bend without breaking, return to cool dark place and try again in another week.
Ingredients and tools for step two:
A very clean and dry gallon glass jar or pitcher
Large supply of unbleached #4 cone coffee filter (I could only find white cone coffee filters, not sure if they were bleached or not)
Slotted spoon or pasta server
4 1/2 C. white sugar
3 C. Distilled or filtered water (I used distilled)
Dissolve sugar in water and bring to boil over high heat. Boil for 5 minutes.
Set syrup aside to cool. It must be room temp before adding to infusion.
Use a slotted spoon or pasta server gently scoop lemon peels from the infusion and discard. Try to avoid creating small pieces that will make straining more difficult, try not to break peels as you remove them.
Using the larger funnel and #4 coffee filters, slowly strain infusion through filters into large pitcher. This is a messy process. The filters will clog quickly and you will use many of them.
Rinse and dry gallon jar.
Repeat straining process, transferring infusion from pitcher to original gallon jar by straining again through #4 coffee filters.
Return filtered infusion to jar and add COOLED syrup.
Return to cool dry place for 40 days to begin mellowing process that combines alcohol infusion with syrup to create Limoncello.
Source:Slow Travel Italy