This recipe for crema di orancello is a spin of the popular Italian limoncello. Like the original limoncello liqueur, this one has a nice kick and is not too sweet.
A couple of days ago we celebrated an anniversary and I used this opportunity to make a new batch of crema di orancello . It had been five years since we left Germany to live for the next three years in the USA. Life may be a journey, but the path is not a long and straight stretch of road. And I don’t mind. Wouldn’t it be tedious to have your life planned in details until you retire or even further? Nothing against fulfilling dreams, that’s a whole different story, but strategic life planning was never me.
I always admired friends who were able to spend some time abroad. They seem to get an exotic aura, of cause I tend to romanticize their situation. Years ago one of my friends left to become a diving teacher in Egypt. I was sad to see her leave, but also a little envious about her adventures and her courage. I didn’t even change my mind, about her new alluring life in a vacation paradise, as she told me about her health and money problems. And I had no idea about all the other dilemmas, like homesickness and missing family and friends, which haunt you from time to time, that’s what they don’t tell you.
And then it was my turn to decide if I would be brave enough to put my life in Germany on hold and restart from scratch in the States. I don’t even remember all the reasons for my decision. What the heck? Was it to satisfy my thirst for adventure or just an urgently needed change of scene? Back then life had been standing still and I was not able to find room for developments or growing. At the same time, the days had been running by too fast to enjoy the little things. I guess the reason, I can tell you for sure is, that I needed a change. So I quit my actually not-so-horrible and well-paid job, grabbed my dog and here I am. Life had been higgledy-piggledy since then. And this is a good thing, as I said, who wants boring? Would I have done everything the same way again? Probably not, scratch that, for sure not. Hindsight is easier than foresight. The last five years taught me about myself and had made me more confident about my strength. I learned to let loose and slow down more often.
We celebrated this anniversary with our friends and with crema di orancello. It had been a blast. One of those nights filled with talking, nibbling, serious eating and wine drinking. Furthermore, I made one of my favorite deserts (coming soon). Afterward, we sipped some crema di orancello, it is always wise to have a bottle in the freezer for special occasions. Kind of a perfect night.
- 475 ml / 2 cups grain alcohol 95% / 190 proof (Everclear)
- 2 large oranges, just the peel (organic)
- 350 ml / 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 350 ml / 1 ½ cups water
- 450 g / 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- you’ll also need: vegetable peeler or citrus grater, a large jar with a lid, strainer, funnel, 2-3 clean bottles with lid, jug or bowl with a spout<
- Wash and peel the oranges thinly, there should be no white parts attached to the peel. I use a vegetable peeler to peel the oranges and later scrape/cut out the white inner layer. You can also grate the orange peels with a citrus peel grater (I like the one from Microplane). Whatever you do, make sure you avoid the white parts (albedo), they would make your crema di orancello bitter.
- Place the peel and the alcohol in a jar, close the lid tightly and store for 10 days in a dark place like your pantry and shake it every other day.
- When the time is ripe, make the syrup: heat water and sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil and continue cooking for up to 3 minutes, stir to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, strain the orange-alcohol mix, discard the peels and pour the infused grain alcohol in a large jug or pitcher (if available, it’s just easier for stirring and pouring). Add the syrup to the orange-alcohol mix and stir. Then add the heavy cream and stir again.
- Use a funnel for pouring the crema di orancello into bottles and place it into the freezer. The alcohol will prevent it from freezing, but just to save: don’t fill the bottles up to the rim.
For a crema di limoncello use 3-4 lemons.
Tip: make this orange marzipan cake to use up the oranges.