I’ve challenged myself to post 29 honey recipes in the next month – BEFORE Rosh Hashana.
Not just your Bubbe’s honey cake. As a beekeeper and avid cook I can take you and your honey places you’ve never been before- culinarily speaking.
So let’s get to it. I have a list, but wanted to start with this one as it requires some sitting time.
We have lemon trees. So do many of our good friends. The bees love the blossoms. So when the bees, and your neighbours give you lemons, you make… It’s also a great way to use up the honey remaining in the tanks after we bottle the harvest. Yes, I’m one of those people. The type that rinse out the dish soap bottle into the wash water and use rags vs. paper towels. More on that to come, no doubt.
So what is Limoncello?
Not just another way to rinse out your honey tanks?
That intensely flavoured adult beverage that works great straight-up chilled or over ice with soda. Incredibly versatile and easy to make. It does require some hang-time, so if you want some for next month, you better get cracking, or actually peeling, now.
What you’ll need:
- About 20 lemons
- 1 litre of a clear alcohol (100 proof vodka or grain alcohol)
- Clean 1.5 litre jar with a tight lid
- 300-500g honey
- Good vegetable peeler or paring knife
- Mesh strainer and/or cheese cloth
- Bottles for your finished product – they should close tightly
As mentioned, you won’t be drinking this today, so you don’t need everything immediately. You’ve got time to shop around for some fancy bottles, or just wash what you’ve got. The entire process will take 20-30 days. See how I planned that.
- Wash your lemons thoroughly with clean water
- Peel/zest the skins making sure to get only the yellow. Avoid the white pith
- Put those skins into your clean glass jar and pour in ALL the alcohol
- Juice the naked lemons, freezing the juice for later
Set the jar out of harms way. It will be there for a while. I sometimes mark my jar at the fill line just to check for leaks. That alcohol evaporates fast.
So what to do with all of these naked lemons? Well juice them using your favourite technique. We freeze ours and then thaw when we’re about to complete the process 20-30 days later. Some limoncello recipes don’t even call for using the juice. If you forgot to save your juice, please, please DO NOT complete this recipe with store-bottled juice.
Time passes…20-30 days later
Get your clean bottles ready, and a large pot to mix everything in. Thaw your frozen lemon juice. Hopefully you have at least 500ml. If not, you can supplement with water.
- Open your jar of soaked peels and pour them through the strainer or cheese cloth into the pot.
They should seem rather crispy. All of their flavourful oils have been sucked into the alcohol.
2. Pour the lemon juice over the peels and into the pot. Squeeze the debris for all it’s worth.
3. Add at least 300g of honey and stir to dissolve.
Taste it. Adjust to your desire adding more honey and/or water until you get the flavour you like. It should be citrusy, but not make you feel like your eyebrows will catch fire. You should end up with 2-3 litres of sunshine citrus heaven.
Keep one in the freezer. It will not freeze. The remainder can be kept tightly bottled in a cool, dry place for later gifting and enjoyment.
Let me know how it turned out for you. If you write back before 20 days have passed I will be suspicious.
PS: This works great with other citrus peels as well.
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