Limoncello and its delicious leftovers

Last week I stumbled across a recipe for a delicious, refreshing summer drink called Limoncello (pronounced lee-mon-CHAY-low) that I just had to try.  Unlike most of my summer kitchen experiments, this one took a while… step one had to sit for a week before I could continue to step two!  However, I promise it’s worth it… I halved my recipe from what the one I referenced instructed, so that I didn’t have to buy so many lemons, and only to use their peels.  Below the limoncello recipe is one for my perfected creamy lemon squares, which will use up the peeled citrus so the only thing wasted is the pith.


2 1/4 c Everclear (or other clear flavorless alcohol that is at least 100 proof)

4 Lemons

1 Orange

4 1/3 c Whole Milk

5 c Sugar

1 oz Whiskey

1 t Vanilla Extract

Use a vegetable peeler to peel the citrus, being careful not to peel into the white pith.  Put peels into the Everclear, and set peeled fruits aside (for next recipe, below.)  When I did this step, I had an empty 1 liter bottle from my partial bottle of Everclear, so I just poured the measured alcohol back into the bottle, and shoved the citrus peels in with it.  The screw cap keeps everything neat.*  Leave for one week so that peels can fully flavor the alcohol.

After one week, strain and discard the peels.  Pour flavored alcohol into a large saucepan**, along with remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat until just bubbling, and cook for an additional five minutes while stirring continuously.  Pour liquid through a fine mesh sieve into bottles.  Put bottles into freezer until ready to serve.  Shake bottle just before serving.  Limoncello will last for months.

*In the recipe from which this one is derived, it said to put the peels and alcohol into a bowl with a plate on top of the peels to keep them from floating, but I thought that there was too much risk of dust and such getting into the mixture.

** Use a much larger saucepan than you think you will need- big enough to hold at least double the volume of your liquid.  (The one I used was 8 quarts for what ended up being about 2 liters of limoncello.)  When you boil the liquid, it foams up a lot and could make a huge mess if your pot is too small.  Don’t ask me how I know this…

Creamy Citrus Squares


1 1/2 c Flour

1/2 c Powdered Sugar

1 1/2 sticks Butter


4 Lemons

1 Orange

2 cans Sweetened Condensed Milk

6 Egg Yolks

Preheat oven to 325•F.  Combine 3 ingredients for crust with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Gently pat into a 13″ x 9″ glass baking dish.  Cook 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

While crust is cooking, prepare filling.  Juice the lemons and orange.  Add remaining filling ingredients to juice and mix until smooth.  Pour over crust and bake an additional 35-40 minutes or until filling is set.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Serve dusted with powdered sugar.


2 responses to this post.

  1. i didn’t realize you could make Limoncello at home! how doe sit compare to the store bought, is making it much cheaper? the recipe for the squares looks delish, too!


    • Posted by artistaraquel on August 12, 2010 at 10:57 am

      I didn’t know you could buy limoncello! haha I’d never had it before… just saw the recipe and decided it sounded delicious. Basically the only things I had to buy were the citrus fruits and the whole milk (we drink skim) so it cost something like $8, not including the ingredients we had on hand. How does that compare to store bought?

      As for the lemon squares, I’ve been trying all sorts of combinations of recipes for crusts and fillings, and I think I’ve finally come up with one I’m satisfied with in this one.


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