Candied Lemon Peels from Leftovers

November 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm (Other Drinks) (, )

I finally figured out what to do with all the leftover lemon peels after making a batch of limoncello.  I made a beautiful batch of candied lemon peels.  It took some experimenting and since I had two batches of lemon peels, I had more than enough to work with.

I made a simple syrup of 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water.  Bring it to a boil, then add the lemon peels and boil them until they are translucent.  At least that is what the recipe said.  They got kind of translucent, not very, but you could see the difference.  Drain them and spread them out, let them dry a little.

I then put some sugar in a bowl and added some of the peels.  I mixed it around and added more peels, then more sugar as needed.  It got kind of granular all over the outside.  I did this with the whole batch until they all had a good coating of sugar.  I then put them in the oven at 170 degrees for a while to dry out.

When they cooled and dried a bit, I sprinkled sugar all over again and tossed them around again.

What didn’t work – the second batch I put in the oven to dry without first tossing them with sugar.  When they came out of the oven, they were kind of tough and curled up.  I’m not sure I boiled them enough, so I don’t know if they got too dry because they weren’t precoated or just not cooked enough in the first place.  I tossed them with some more sugar but they just aren’t as good as the first batch.

And of course my wife saved the leftover lemon flavored simple sugar.  I think it’s basically just limoncello without the alcohol.  Great for ice cream.

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Limoncello Details

November 24, 2011 at 10:34 am (Other Drinks, Winemaking) ()

The photo to the right is the 2 liter jar I use to infuse the vodka with the lemons.  In front of that is one of the 1 liter stoppered bottles I use to store the finished product.  Both of those are from IKEA.  I have about 10 of the stoppered bottles.  A single batch fills a little more than 2 of them.

The small bottle in front is a vinegar bottle I got from the local dollar store.  It’s hard to find these in glass, they are usually plastic.  They hold like 300ml, just enough for one night of drinking.  Small is better for three reasons, it easily fits in the freezer, the smaller volumes chills faster when you need to put it in a friend’s freezer, and people don’t over-drink when there is a small amount to begin with.

I keep forgetting to post the amount of sugar.  Today I boiled the sugar/water mixture.  I use 3 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar.  Heat until it just starts to boil, then let it cool before pouring in the liquid.

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Limoncello update update

August 31, 2009 at 9:21 pm (Other Drinks, Winemaking)

We have become addicted to this stuff.  I take a little bottle with me whenever we visit anyone.  My buddy Mike is always running dry, but it’s ok since I’m usually one of the people drinking it.  When you make it, err towards sweet.

Mike made a batch of LimeCello and OrangeCello.  I’m not a fan of the lime, it had an aftertaste I didn’t care for.  The orange version was ok, but not sweet enough.  The lemon – it’s just a winner.  I’ve got another batch brewing under the counter.  This time we squeezed the lemons and put the juice in the fridge.  My wife made lemon squares and a few other treats with the juice.

I just talked myself into a shot.  See ya.

Important note: Make sure you boil the sugar/water before adding it to the mix.  Adding sugar directly to the mix will cause it to be cloudy.  The boiling process is a must.

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Help – I Can’t Find Bottles for my Limoncello

April 5, 2008 at 3:27 pm (Other Drinks) (, , , , )

I’ve been searching everywhere and I haven’t been able to find appropriate bottles for storing my limoncello. The bottles in the liquor store are square with a screw cap and hold about 1/2 a liter. Of course I have the vodka bottles I used to make the liqueur, but they are not attractive and they are a bit too large to store in the freezer.

I’ve checked in the home stores (Linen & Things, etc), the dollar stores, Target, Pier 1, and on eBay. I live on the east coast, just outside Philadelphia. Ikea had some bottles with the flip lids like a Grolsch beer, but they are very difficult to open at room temperature, I can’t imagine what it would be like coming out of the freezer.

Does anyone have a suggestion?

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Taste Your Wine Any Time

March 2, 2008 at 8:48 pm (Other Drinks, Thoughts, Winemaking, Winemaking Tips) (, , , , , , )

First off, I ALWAYS taste my juice before I begin a batch of homemade wine. I want to know what my blueberry juice or blackberry juice tastes like before I add the yeast. I want to know if it is sweet, tart, and if it has lots of flavor or only a little flavor. Good tasting wine should start out as good tasting juice.

A winemaking buddy once told me about a festival where they drink the wine when it’s half-done fermenting. The alcohol level is low, the wine is still sweet, and there is a slight carbonation to the drink. In Austria, they call it strum.

I had never heard of this idea and at first it seemed wrong. After all, it’s not wine yet. I decided to try it, and I must say, it was rather good. Go take a small glass of strum from your fermenter when the specific gravity is around 1.025 and let me know what you think.

I found a link that describes several of these festivals in different countries.

http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/the-harvest-party-circuit

If any of you have been to one of these festivals, I would love to hear all about it.

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My First Batch of Limoncello

January 14, 2008 at 5:47 pm (Other Drinks) (, , , , )

1/13/08 – Today I began my first batch of limoncello. I didn’t have a jar big enough to make a full batch, so I split it into two one-quart mason jars. Each jar has a bottle of Leeds Vodka ($4.99 for 750 ml) and the peels of 7 or 8 nice fragrant lemons.

The potato peeler was definitely the way to go. It took no more than 10 minutes to peel 15 lemons.

What do you do with 15 naked lemons?

Naked Lemons

1/14/08 – The liquid already has a really cool lemon yellow color. Three months is going to be a long time to wait for this stuff.

1/19/08 – The skins are just starting to turn white. I give it a shake every day or so. The color is almost electric. It’s pretty obvious already that a single batch just isn’t going to cut it.

1/20/08 – We made lemon marmalade with some of the naked lemons and my wife made a couple of batches of lemon squares.

2/16/08 – I shake the jars every couple of days.  They are a great color and the rinds are starting to turn rather white.   How has this been only a month?  I want to try some NOW!

7/4/09 – Yeah, big time gap, but here’s what you’ve been waiting for.  After pouring off the liquid and sweetening it (I have no idea how much sugar I used, apparently I forgot to write it down), I set it aside for a while.  Last week my friend Mike came over and I took it out of the freezer for him to try.  Two thumbs up.  We were over his house last night, I brought him a bottle (340ml vinegar bottles from the 89 cent store).  We had some before dinner, and the gang almost polished off the whole bottle after dinner.  A lot more thumbs up.

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Limoncello … soon

January 11, 2008 at 1:56 pm (Other Drinks, Wine Recipes, Winemaking) (, , , )

Lemons were 4 for $1, but they were ugly. Since the liqueur is made from the zest, I want the really good looking lemons. I’ll have to keep shopping.

I stopped today at a produce market. The lemons were 5 for $2, they were pretty, but they had no smell. More shopping.

Nikolai Vodka was around $7 for 1.5 liters of 80 proof in the PA state store. I’m going to check on NJ this weekend. They had two brands of Limoncello from Italy. Both brands were $20 for about .75 liter and they stated they were 36% alcohol (72 proof).

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