Limoncello with apricot and nut biscotti

Limoncello with apricot and nut biscotti

By
From
Desserts
Serves
6-8

I love Italy, and the biscotti in this recipe come from Tuscany and the limoncello from one of my favourite places, Capri, where the huge, juicy lemons have such an amazing flavour. Limoncello is traditionally a very alcoholic drink, containing some 90% alcohol, but if you make it this way with straight vodka you can sup it as an after-dinner drink. It must be served in really cold, iced shot glasses, straight out of the freezer. The Italian word ‘biscotti’ literally means ‘twice baked’.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the limoncello:

Quantity Ingredient
70cl fruit alcohol or vodka
200g caster sugar
8 unwaxed lemons, zested and juiced

For the biscotti:

Quantity Ingredient
250g plain flour
250g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
50g dried sweetened strawberries, chopped
100g dried apricots, chopped
50g medjool dates, pitted and chopped
75g shelled pistachio nuts
50g whole blanched almonds
50g shelled hazelnuts
1 lemon, zested

Method

  1. To make the limoncello, warm a little of the vodka in a pan and add the sugar until it is all dissolved – don’t let it boil. Remove from the heat when dissolved and add the lemon juice and zest. Add the remaining vodka, pour into a bottle and freeze.
  2. To make the biscotti, pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  3. Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Add half the beaten eggs and mix well, then add half of what’s left and mix again. Now add the last quarter a little bit at a time until the dough takes shape but isn’t too wet (you may not need to use all of the eggs). Add the fruit, nuts and lemon zest and mix well.
  4. Divide the dough into six, roll into sausage shapes about 3cm in diameter and place at least 6cm apart on the lined baking tray (wetting your hands before rolling these out helps to prevent the dough sticking). Lightly flatten the ‘sausages’.
  5. Bake for 20–30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave for 10 minutes to cool and firm up.
  6. Using a serrated knife, cut the biscotti on an angle into slices 5mm thick (you should get about 30 slices). Lay the slices on the baking trays. Return to the oven and cook for 8 minutes, then turn the slices over and cook for a further 10–15 minutes or until a pale golden colour. Cool on wire racks, then store in airtight jars.
  7. To serve, pour the limoncello into a shot glass (remove the zest before serving), with a couple of biscotti on the side.
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