Fruit and more fruit

Michael has been busy collecting cherries, he has combed the lanes round Bellaugello Gay Country House selecting the ripest and juiciest cherries which he plucked.   Bags and bags of cherries have appeared in the kitchen we serve them for breakfasts and yesterday afternoon he was busy in the kitchen making cherry marmalade and a spicy cherry sauce, the latter from a recipe given to him by his grandmother.

Today the cherry jam was served on our homemade breads, and many compliments ensued.  I found myself in the garden cutting grass, it seems a never-ending task at the moment, the warmth and occasional shower rapidly brings on the growth.  Skirting around our fruit trees, I notice the figs are not far off being ripe and we have a decent crop of peaches, they may be small but they are looking really good.

Recent guests wrote and asked for my recipe for our home-made limoncello, so I sent it to them and feel now inclined to share the recipe with you.  This year’s limoncello is still not quite ready, we will have to wait until the middle of next month to sample its heady delight and fragrant perfume.  We now have cherries basking in the sunlight, slowly turning alcoholic, and are wondering what fruit will be next.

So here is my recipe for Limoncello.  You need to use the finest unwaxed lemons, I use the large knobbly ones from Amalfi, and of course you need time!

10 lemons – unwaxed preferably from Amalfi
1.2 kg sugar
1 & 1/2 litres of water
1 litre of plain alcohol we use 95% proof
Wash the lemons and remove the rind being extra careful not to cut into the white pith, chop the rind into small pieces.
Place into a clean preserving jar together with .75 l of the alcohol and leave in a cool dark place for 1 month, turn occasionally, I turn the jars when I pass by, curious to see the golden yellow colour becoming more intense.  The container must be hermetically sealed.
To the water add the sugar and gently stir whilst bringing to the boil.  Leave to cool.
Add the remaining quarter litre of alcohol and then combine with the lemon zest and alcohol mix.  Leave in a cool dark place for 40 more days.
Then Strain, filter and put in the freezer and enjoy! Cin Cin!