Limoncello

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade but “I”….make limoncello! That was the caption on a New Yorker cartoon my daughter sent me a while back. Oh! you know me so well, I thought .  As a food stylist, life does give you lemons and I am not talking figuratively here!

One perk of the job is to bring home delicious food and beautiful produce that is divvied up amongst the team once the shoot is over;  but how many lemons can one bring home?  Being one who always tries to make the most out of leftovers,  four years ago I started making limoncello; recycling those beautiful fruits into gifts for family, friends, clients and co-workers.

I always have a batch going but come October I go in full production to make sure everybody is treated with a small bottle for the Holiday season.  If you start now, you too will be able to enjoy a nice glass of limoncello in December.

LIMONCELLO

  • 10 to 12 lemons
  • 3.5 cups vodka ( 80 proof)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar

Wash, scrub and dry the lemons.  Remove the peel with a vegetable peeler making sure you get as little pith as possible.  The pith is the white fiber between the peel and the lemon and will make the limoncello bitter.

Place the peels in a 2 quarts glass container with a lid.  Pour the vodka over the peels making sure they are fully covered with the liquid.  Cover the container and let sit 4 to 5 weeks in a dark cool place (pantry or basement is great).

When ready the vodka will have a nice yellow coloring and smell lemony.  Make a simple syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Cool to room temperature.  Pour the syrup into the vodka mixture and let stand at room temperature for another day.

Strain the limoncello through a fine mesh colander.  Discard the lemon peels.  Transfer the limoncello in clean bottles.  Seal and label the bottles.  Keep in the fridge or freezer until ready to serve, share or give.

I like mine on crushed ice at the end of a meal as a digestif.

NOTE:  I also make a variation with lime since life also gives me a lot of limes.  Follow the same directions, just substitute limes for lemons.

From my kitchen to yours!

CK, la fille du boucher,

Peach Galette

“You’ll never go back to making pie once you’ve made a galette” that’s what I like to say each time I serve a galette. Well, maybe not but I just want to emphasize how easy and rewarding this dessert is.  I LOVE it’s rustic look and the fruit ratio to the dough.  Eat it as is, with ice cream or whipped cream OR with a mascarpone lemon sauce. The dough and the sauce can be made a day or two before. This recipe serves 6 to 8 people, especially if you serve it with the sauce.

PEACH GALETTE

DOUGH

  • 1cup flour
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter (1/4 lb) cut in small pieces
  • 3 tbs very cold water

Put the dried ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to blend. Scatter the pieces of butter on top of the mix and pulse until the mixtures resemble coarse cornmeal.  With the motor running pour the water and let the mixture get wet.  It won’t look like “wet” dough but if you rub it between your fingers, it should stick together. If not add another tablespoon.  Invert the mixture onto a clean surface and form into a ball, flatten it into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

FILLING

  • 4 peaches (about 1.5 pound)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbs cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces

Peel peaches by dunking them in a pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes or until the skin   comes out easily.  Halve, core and cut the peaches into 1/4 inch slices.  In a large bowl mix the dried ingredients. Gently toss the sliced peaches into the mixture to cover them.  Toss the zest and lemon juice.  Put aside as you are rolling the dough.

ASSEMBLING THE GALETTE

On a piece of parchment paper roll out the dough into a 11 inch round.  Transfer the peach mixture onto the dough leaving a 2 inch border all around. Scatter the 2tbs butter on top of the peaches.  Carefully fold the border into the galette forming the galette as you are folding.  The galette does not need to be perfectly round, that’s the beauty of the galette!  Transfer the whole piece of parchment / galette to a baking sheet and return to the fridge for 20 minutes.  In the meantime preheat the oven at 400 degrees .  Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until the crust is nice and golden and the filling is bubbling.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

MASCARPONE LEMON SAUCE

  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 2 tbs whipped cream cheese
  • 2 tbs sour cream
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs limoncello (optional)

In a bowl mix all the ingredients and whisk until smooth.

NOTE:  it is very important to make sure the galette goes in the fridge and is cold before baking, that is how you will get a nice flaky crust.

From my kitchen to yours!

CK, la fille du boucher