Friday, February 15, 2013

Limoncello: The National Drink of Italy

Italian Limoncello(lee-mohn-CHEH-loh)

If you have ever been to Italy, you'll instantly know about Limoncello. Lemons seem to be one of the important staples in the food of Sorrento. The most famous product is Limoncello. Every store or restaurant has it’s unique or favorite brand of Limoncello for sale or to taste. It is wonderful as a palate cleanser or as an after dinner drink. Limoncello is the generic name for an Italian citrus-based lemon liqueur that is served well chilled in the summer months. Limoncello is now considered the  national drink of Italy and can be found in stores and restaurants all over Italy.

We recommend putting your bottle in the freezer and enjoying it as an after dinner sipping drink

There are a number of recipes on the internet for cooking with limoncello. Pinterest has a great collection. Click here for a great starting point

One of our favorite recipes in the collection is Limoncello Lemon Cake. 

Limoncello Lemon Cake
adapted from Erika Kerekes

Moist and tender this cake is a ray of sunshine sent from heaven!  

2 eggs
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
zest of 1 lemon
3 Tbs Limoncello (or lemon juice)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 to 2 Tbs Limoncello or Lemon Juice (adjust as necessary)
1 tsp lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, sugar, oil, lemon zest and 3 Tbsp limoncello or lemon juice.  In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring just until incorporated, 15-20 stirs, being careful not to over mix.

Spray an 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan (or alternatively 3 mini loaf pans, 5 3/4 x 3 inch) with cooking spray.  Pour the batter into the pan.  Bake about 40 minutes for the larger loaf pan or 30-35 minutes for the smaller loaf pans, or until a tester comes out clean and the top of the cake is golden. Cool the cake in the pan for about 5 minutes.  Remove from pans and continue cooling on a wire rack.

When the cake is cool, whisk the powdered sugar with 2 Tbs limoncello or lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth.  Drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Another delightful way to enjoy your Limoncello is paired with a lemon biscotti.

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