Limoncello is a popular Italian lemon liqueur that is produced primarily in Sorrento but also in parts of Southern Italy. Lemons grow in abundance here in the western part of the country where I live. It is easy to make your own homemade limoncello; however, making limoncello requires patience. Crema di Limoncello has added cream, which is as delicious as regular limoncello. Using honey as a sweetener, gives the liqueur more body than using simple syrup.
It takes time and effort to remove the peels from the lemons. To make a good limoncello the lemon peels must be carefully removed in thin strips without cutting into the white pith, which will ruin the liqueur and make it bitter. A good sharp vegetable peeler is a big help. The hardest part is having to wait six weeks before it’s ready.
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Makes approximately 13 ½ cups.
20 large organic lemons
1.75 liters Everclear or vodka
12 ounces lemon juice
2 vanilla bean pods
30 ounces light colored honey
4 cups heavy cream
Equipment needed: 1-gallon glass wide-mouth jar with lid
Wash the lemons well and dry. Using a vegetable peeler, carefully cut the lemon peel off each lemon in thin strips, being careful not to cut into the pith (white part). With a small sharp knife, scrape off any remaining pith on the peel. The pith will make the limoncello bitter.
Place the peels in the glass jar. Stir in the alcohol and lemon juice.
Add the vanilla beans. Cover tightly with a lid and place in dark cool place for 6 weeks. Shake the jar once daily.
At the end of six weeks, strain the limoncello into another large jar using a piece of Muslim cloth or lint-free kitchen towel placed over the top. Discard the peels and retain the vanilla pods.
Stir in the honey until blended. Cut open the vanilla pods lengthwise, scrape out the vanilla seeds and add to the limoncello. Using a whisk, stir in the heavy cream. Pour into individual bottles and store in the freezer up to 1 year. If the cream separates, shake before serving until thoroughly mixed. Serve chilled or over ice.