Limoncello, the refreshing Italian lemon liqueur, is traditionally served as an after dinner digestivo. It should always be served well chilled, and along the Amalfi Coast it is often served in small chilled ceramic glasses. So, pop shot glasses in the fridge before dinner in readiness for this end of meal delight.
Limoncello is sweet but is tempered by the strong, tart, natural lemon taste. Ali makes two versions of this typically Italian liqueur. Her original Limoncello used an authentic recipe from Praiano on the Amalfi Coast in Italy and is 20% alcohol. Several years ago Ali developed her own interpretation of this recipe which is 27% alcohol and has more of a bite.
Both of Ali’s versions of Limoncello are made the traditional way. Each lemon is carefully zested by hand to ensure that only the yellow skin is used without any of the bitterness of the white pith. This results in a clear, yellow colour and an intense, pure flavour.
While Limoncello is traditionally served alone or poured over ice, it is becoming increasingly popular as an ingredient in both food and cocktails as it gives a strong lemon flavour without the bitterness of lemon juice.
Serve with champagne. Pour it over fresh berries and refrigerate until ready to serve with ice cream. Fold it into freshly whipped cream for a tangy accompaniment to fruit desserts.
For more ideas check out the Recipe Section.
Lemon is widely recognised as a valuable source of vitamin C, the miracle vitamin which strengthens the immune system, promotes healing and helps us deal with stress. Pectin, a form of soluble fibre in citrus fruit, helps maintain or lower cholesterol levels and protects against heart disease. Lemon refreshes and cleanses the mouth and is thought to assist digestion. A time-honoured soother for colds and fever, lemon drinks continue to be essential and comforting tonics in homes everywhere.
What better way to gain these benefits than to drink Ali’s Lemon Fresh which will, at the same time, allow the taste buds to indulge in the pleasure of this delightful elixir. Ali’s Lemon Fresh uses her great-grandmother’s recipe and contains the whole lemon, so it provides all the benefits attributed to this fruit. It contains no artificial preservatives, so keep refrigerated.
In winter serve Ali’s Lemon Fresh hot with fresh ginger to alleviate the symptoms of colds and flu. The addition of honey helps to soothe a sore throat.
In summer, served with soda and a sprig of mint, it is a refreshing mocktail enjoyed by all ages. At parties it is the perfect drink for the designated driver and those who don’t drink alcohol. At family celebrations and gatherings, serve as a special bubbly for those too young to indulge in champagne.
For more ideas see the Recipe Section.
Marmalade has its origins in Greece where marmelo, or quince, was cooked slowly with honey. In the 17th century the English term marmalade was extended to refer to citrus fruits when they began to be more plentiful in that country.
Ali’s Lemon Marmalade is made from a traditional family recipe using finely sliced lemon peel and juice and is simmered in sugar and water till soft. It contains no artificial additives or preservatives. As it contains no grapefruit, it is safe for those on cholesterol-lowering medication.
Delicious served on toast or plain muffins, it is also a zesty addition to plain steamed puddings or spooned over yoghurt or ice cream for a refreshing dessert.
Lemon Ginger Marmalade complements a sharp cheddar on a cheese board. It also makes a delicious glaze on pork and poultry – spread on a chicken breast or pork chop, it transforms a simple week day meal into something a little special.
For more ideas see the Recipe Section.
Onions have a number of nutritional benefits. They contain flavonoids, compounds which act as antioxidants and help build the immune system. Flavonoid consumption has also been associated with reduced risk of cancer and diabetes. In addition, it is thought that onions can boost beneficial HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
Caramelising the onions involves sweating them to draw out the liquid. They are cooked over a low heat until the sugars melt and start to brown. The long cooking time brings out the complex flavours of the onions’ sugars. The lemon enhances the flavour.
Lemon Caramelised Onion perfectly complements cheese and meats. Serve as part of a cheese platter. It is a useful addition to all barbecues as it goes well with all meats.
Pile into filo pastry cases and top with feta to make elegant tarts to accompany racks of lamb. Stir into beef stock for a quick onion soup. Use on pizzas. Serve warm with blanched green beans and toasted sliced almonds. The list goes on.
For more details see the Recipe Section.
Preserved Lemons are an essential in North African cuisine where they are used in tagines, dressings, sauces and many other dishes to add depth, salt and brightness.
Ali’s lemons are preserved the traditional Moroccan way, in salt with whole cloves,
peppercorns, cinnamon quill and bay leaves. While a wisp of mystery still shrouds this flavourful, rather exotic ingredient, it really is so versatile and can be incorporated into many everyday dishes. Add it to chicken soup, sprinkle finely diced lemon peel over steamed green beans and broccoli, or push it under the skin of a chicken before roasting.
For more ideas see the recipe section.
Ali’s Lemon Curd, also called Lemon Honey, is made using a traditional family recipe
with only four ingredients: butter, sugar, free range eggs and spray free lemons. As itcontains no preservatives it should be kept in the fridge after opening. There, it will keep for months – but only if you hide it, as it is rather addictive!
Saffron Curd is made with saffron from Wynyard Estate in Roxburgh. This Central Otago saffron is in a class well above its imported counterparts as it is fresh and intoxicatingly aromatic. The world’s most expensive spice adds a rich fragrant note to the traditional recipe.
Those who are concerned about their sugar intake can be assured that the Reduced Sugar Curd has 75% less sugar than the other varieties in Ali’s range. At the same time it retains the lemony luxury associated with Lemon Curd, but without the associated guilt trip!
Enjoy on toast and muffins, or spoon into sweet short pastry cases, top with meringue and brown in the oven, or substitute meringue for whipped cream for a cold dessert treat. Served as a topping on muesli and Greek yoghurt it will transform an everyday breakfast into a heavenly repast.
For more ideas see the recipe section.
Lemon Slice is a classic sweet treat that combines moist biscuit base with an extra
lemony icing. Ali’s Lemon slice comes in generous portions and is delicious served with a cup of refreshing Peppermint tea, or whichever brew you prefer.
Gluten Free Baking
With the increasing awareness of food allergies, Ali answered the call for gluten free baking that tastes as good as it looks. No more “cardboard” biscuits! Neither flavour nor texture are sacrificed in Ali’s Gluten Free baking. Try Lemon Shortbread, Melting Moments and Spiced Lemon Cookies.
Gluten Free Lemon Shortbread
Crisp and flavoursome, Ali’s gluten free shortbread is moreish and addictive. Serve
straight from the pretty ribbon-topped packet, or sandwich together with some
Reduced Sugar Lemon Curd for a simple, but sensational dessert.
Gluten Free Spiced Lemon Cookies
Made with honey and lemon zest these spicy cookies look as pretty as a picture. The ginger and cinnamon give them a Middle Eastern flavour which goes well a cup of Chai tea.
Gluten Free Melting Moments
A decadent double act, Ali’s Melting Moments live up to their name. Made with rice flour and maize cornflour, and sandwiched together with a luxurious creamy icing, these delightful biscuits just dissolve in the mouth leaving a wonderful lemon flavour on the tongue.
When in Rome do as the Romans do! But we simply cannot wait until we wing our way to Italy to indulge our desire for gelato! And now there is no need for either the air trip or the guilt trip associated with eating such treats.
Ali has developed a gelato that is lactose and cholesterol free. Made from soy milk ,it is a lighter than traditional creamy ice cream but still satisfies with its smooth mouth feel and natural lemon flavour. Served in a pottle it is the perfect light dessert, or as the final flourish at a picnic in the park.