How fitting that Rosamanti is set on Capri. I’m in love with Pietro, my hero, and I’m in love with Capri. And, I poured every single ounce of my love of all things Caprese into Rosamanti.
Over the next few weeks, in the lead up to release day, I’m going to share some of my passions for the place I consider in some ways, to be my spiritual home. I’ll share the food, the aromas, the sights. I’ll share my own photos of the place, and my precious memories.
I hope you’ll join me as I celebrate the forthcoming release of Rosamanti, which is a book very dear to my heart.
Let's have a very traditional toast eh?
Any visitor to southern Italy, around the Bay of Naples, down to the Sorrentine Peninsular and the Amalfi Coast, cannot ignore the abundance of lemon and orange trees. They grow everywhere, and their branches droop to the ground with the weight and number of fruit. The aroma as you drive past is intoxicating. Which brings me nicely into my topic – Limoncello.
This exquisite lemon liqueur was primarily made by Italians for celebrations, and to use up some of the large lemon crops. Nowadays, there are whole stores devoted to the delectable drink in the touristy areas of Capri and the mainland.
I personally love it as a pre-dinner drink, as it cleanses the palate nicely, but it is really a digestive – an after dinner liqueur, and is often served with a slice of lemon cake. Don’t worry, I’ll give you the recipe for several wonderfully understated Capri lemon cakes later.
I have fond memories of my very first encounter with Limoncello. I was sitting with my companions in a noisy outdoor trattoria on the Marina Grande, Capri. We had finished dinner elsewhere some time ago, and gone for la passeggiata – the wonderful traditional walk in the cool of the evening. It was the perfect time to try limoncello, and it didn’t disappoint.
Every Christmas, I make up a batch of limoncello and Capri lemon cake. For just a little while, it takes me back to that balmy summer evening at the Marina Grande, when the full moon rose over the Mediterranean Sea, and I thought I was in heaven.
Recipe for Limoncello
- 8 organic (yellow) lemons. Ensure they are ripe – no green bits
- A 750 ml bottle of Vodka
- 3 1/2 cups of white Sugar (about 25 oz or 800 grams).
- 750 ml of Water
- Several sterilised bottles
- Carefully peel off the zest, ensuring you don’t get any pith (the bitter white part).
- Transfer half of the bottle of vodka into another bottle, then push half of the lemon zest equally into each bottle and put the lids on tightly and place them in a darkened cupboard.
- Leave the zest to macerate in the vodka for 48 to 72 hours.
- After 72 hours, boil 750ml of water in a saucepan or pot. Once it boils, add the sugar then remove it from the stove. Stir the sugar to mix. It’s important to take it off the hot stove here.
- Let it stand and cool for 10 minutes.
- Place a fine strainer over the pot, and carefully pour the alcohol into the warm water/syrup mixture, ensuring no pieces of lemon zest gets in.
- Stir to combine thoroughly.
- Using a small funnel, carefully pour the liquid into the sterilised bottles, cap tightly, and allow to cool.
- Once the bottles are at room temperature, place them in the refrigerator).
- Serve chilled as a digestive liqueur with Caprese Lemon Cake
Why not try some of these great Limoncello cake recipes! Find the delicious pictures on my Pinterest page.
http://abeautifulbite.com/limoncello-soaked-pound-cake/ Limoncello soaked pound cake
http://abeautifulbite.com/limoncello-and-ricotta-cake/Limoncello and ricotta cake
http://noblepig.com/2013/06/limoncello-syrup-lemon-cake/Limoncello syrup lemon cake