3 Hour Sous-Vide Limoncello
(Making Limoncello Sous-Vide style lets it cook low and slow to maintain its high alcohol content as well as helps the lemon flavors seep into every molecule. Plus! it's ready in hours instead of weeks!)
5-6 large lemons½ bottle Vodka (1 3/4 cups) Simple Syrup: (1 cup sugar dissolved in 1 ½ cups water)Directions:
In a small pot, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 1/2 cup warm water, stirring until all sugar is dissolved. Remove from oven and set aside.
Preheat large pot of water (the water bath) to 130 degrees. (warm tap water)
Using a vegetable peeler, remove peels from the lemon, making sure not to get any of the white pith. (That's the bitter part of the lemon.)
You can remove extra pith with a paring knife, if needed.
Place lemon peels, simple syrup and Vodka in a large Ziploc bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal. (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Otherwise, the bag will expand like a balloon in the hot water.) (Use a double bag, if desired for added protection.)
Place in the water bath and let cook for 3 hours at 200 degrees. Use thermometer to maintain temperature. (If you have a large paper clip, you can clip to the side of the pot.)
When done, strain the vodka into a bottle or container using a fine colander. Refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours. Serve over ice or use in other cocktails. Store in the refrigerator up to one month.
CAUTION! When the Ziplock bag with lemon peels is in the hot water, it may expand like a balloon, if all the air wasn't extracted. Do not open the bag to release the air, or you may get burned from the steam. If you want to release the air, take the bag out of the water bath, cool it down enough to handle extract the air carefully and place it back in the hot water.
What is Sous Vide?
The term sous vide (pronounced soo–veed) is a French term, meaning under vacuum. Sous vide is a culinary technique in which vacuum-sealed food is immersed in a water bath and cooked at a very precise, consistent temperature.
Patty's Lemon Squares
2 cups all purpose flour plus 4 tablespoons, divided
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 sticks (one cup) butter, melted
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons lemon juice (Patty prefers Real Lemon® brand 100% Lemon Juice to fresh squeezed lemons*)
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine 2 cups flour with 1/2 cup powdered sugar and set aside.
Pour melted butter into a 9x13-inch baking dish (metal preferred).
Stir in flour and powdered sugar mixture. With a fork, mix until well combined, creating a dough. Press evenly with your hand to form a crust in the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, beat together eggs and bottled lemon juice until fully combined.
Just before the crust comes out of the oven, to the egg mixture add 2 cups granulated sugar, 4 tablespoons flour, salt and baking soda. Blend with a electric mixer on medium until combined. Pour over hot crust. Bake for another 25 minutes or until toothpick comes up clean.
Let cool. Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar to serve. Squares can be covered with foil and refrigerated or made ahead and frozen in a well-sealed air-tight container. Makes about squares.
*Jan's Note: I was curious as to why Patty preferred bottled lemon juice to fresh-squeezed. Research in my cook books and on line revealed that many pastry chefs prefer bottled lemon juice simply because of consistency. Some lemons are less tart and "lemony" than others, and bottled lemon juice provides the exact amount of tartness every time.