Spring has Sprung!
What a fabulous long weekend of gorgeous weather and well for me, some time in the garden. I'm a lover of the garden at this time of year, who isnt! All the beautiful little plants doing their thing, popping out overnight from their slumber. Or is it really more about the well deserved G&T and moment of lazing around on the back deck checking out my hard work, which is what it's all about?
Well it's a bit of both
My husband Paul loves the garden too and in particular his veggie patch and I guess, his almost mini orchard he has been working on in the back yard over the last few years. We now have a nectarine, apple, 3 olive, kaffir lime, 2 standard limes, orange, mandarin, pomegranate, grapefruit, curry and bay trees, a Davidson plum (a beautiful Aussie bush tucker tree, pictured above) and multiple lemon trees. Most are relatively new but one of our older lemon trees has been fruiting for almost the entire year so what to do with all that fruit you ask? Well there is only so much lemon curd you can make and give away, so we are on our first attempt at the deliciously yummy Limoncello! Its a traditional Italian digestive drink, usually served after a meal. Mmmm! 40 days and 40 nights (apparently) and we will be able to sample our creation - I think it's going to be dangerous.
There are so many variations on how to make this, so we will try this one first and we will keep you updated on the progress and more importantly the taste!
600g rock sugar (I found this in an Asian supermarket*)
12 lemons, zest only
large preserving jar or screw top jar (ours is a 4 litre jar)
1. Scrub the lemons under cold water to ensure they are squeaky clean.
2. Using a zester (or your 'superior' knife skills. As you can see to the right, we did a combo of both!), zest the lemons ensuring there is no white pith left on the rind as this will make it bitter.
3. Wash your jar well by running through the dishwasher, once its completely dry and cool, place all ingredients in, close the lid and give it a bit of a shake.
4. Rest in your pantry for 40 days. We have given ours a bit of a shake every now and then too (our picture as at today, shows the sugar all dissolved, but we still have another week to go before bottling).
5. Strain liquid either through muslin cloth or using a coffee filter, into sterilised bottles.
6. Store in the freezer and when ready to drink, just pour and enjoy!
Leftover lemons - So yes you still have the lemon's so we didn't solve the whole issue (or any of it really), but how about some Classic Homemade Lemonade for the kids to enjoy in this gorgeous weather! Make a sugar syrup (bring to a simmer 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved, set aside to cool completely). Juice all lemons and add to a large jug. Add cold sugar syrup just enough for your liking and mix well. At this stage you can either bottle the lemon/sugar mixture and store in the fridge for future (up to a month) or simply top up the jug with icy cold water or mineral water and some ice and serve it immediately. I also like to add mint and even some circles of lemon and muddle them together as well just for a bit of extra flavour.
Leftover zest - sprinkle with a generous amount of sugar and store in a screw top jar until needed or lay it on baking paper over night and allow it to dry out (it will harden). Use it to top cupcakes (not kids ones though), throw some in your Christmas cake or even on top.
* There is a new-ish little Asian Supermarket in Penrith Plaza, down next to the Fishmonger.
I'll let you know how the Limoncello goes!