As featured in Orange Coast Magazine June 2004 edition
Recipes include Lemon cello and Villa Lucia’s Torrone
Lemon cello: traditionally served after a meal or before bed time.
*Important note: the lemons must be untreated, meaning they do not have wax or any other substances on them.
1 bottle of pure alcohol
1 bottle of water
1 pound of sugar
Peel the lemons, trying not to get too much of the white layer into your peels, then add the other ingredients and cover. Let it rest for five to six days. Occasionally stir; maybe once a day. At the end of five days, test for flavor. If it’s OK, strain and bottle. Additional sugar or lemons may be added to desired taste. I prefer less sugar. In the United States, since you cannot get pure alcohol, some of our attendees have used vodka with good results. Optional: I have added a bunch of basil leaves (40 to 50), which seems to enhance the finished product without changing the taste, and gives it more transparency. Soak together for the five days.
Villa Lucia’s Torrone
2 pounds of almonds, toasted and chopped
9 ounces of honey
1 pound, 2 ounces of sugar
1 egg white
Stir the egg white and honey in a pan that will hold all the ingredients. Be sure to use a low flame so as not to cook the egg. Add the sugar and stir constantly over a medium flame for about five minutes to incorporate the sugar. Add the almonds and stir constantly for about five minutes to coat all the nuts. Wet a work surface, marble, or chopping board, put the sticky, hot torrone on it, roll flat, and then cut into squares. Optional: While the torrone is still hot, you may sprinkle the top with chopped pistachios, colored sugar, or another colorful topping.