Drinks & Cocktails Pressure Cooking Recipes

Instant Pot Limoncello

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Living in the middle of nowhere North Dakota, I get pretty excited when I find speciality products at our local grocery store. As I was cruising the aisles last week, I almost shrieked in the produce section when I found Meyer Lemons. I LOVE Meyer Lemons, mostly because they are a much sweeter and more versatile lemon than its’ traditional counterpart. The juice goes lovely in salad dressings, desserts, and many other things. The peels you can candy to use or you can use them for one of my favorite things, Limoncello! Growing up and living in California, there is NOTHING like good citrus! It is one of the things I miss the most about living in California. 

I had previously tried my hand at Limoncello with a Buddha’s Hand a friend from California shipped me. I took the long arduous process of infusing it for weeks, being sure to shake the bottle every now and then. I think part of the problem was by citrus to liquor ratio was off, but it didn’t really infuse that well. 

I have shared my love of my Instant Pot here before, I honestly use that thing for everything! Being that the vanilla extract I gave for gifts for Christmas turned out successful, I figured I could make a pretty fantastic Limoncello utilizing a similar technique. Upon doing some investigating in an Instant Pot online community, I read through a couple successful recipes. This gave me hope! 

I decided to utilize the jar method of infusing with the Instant Pot. This method is very similar to canning, except you aren’t cooking to seal it, you’re cooking to infuse under pressure. The thought of putting glass in my pressure cooker sort of freaked me out, but I figured I would take a chance as many have had great success. 

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You guys….. it turned out INCREDIBLE! When I opened the lid of the Instant Pot I could immediately smell the Meyer Lemons. And the liquor had turned a gorgeous shade of deep yellow. Once I mixed it with the simple syrup and poured some on ice, it was success. The citrus to liquor ratio was perfection with the perfect amount of sweetness. 

This recipe can be doubled or tripled, BUT you can only fit 3 half pint mason jars into your Instant Pot at once. Don’t try to put more. Just process them in batches. I only had enough lemons to make a small batch. 

Instant Pot Limoncello
delicious, perfect limoncello in an Instant Pot
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Ingredients
  1. 8 meyer lemons
  2. 2 - half pint canning jars
  3. 120 proof (or above) grain liquor (such as Everclear)
  4. 1 cup water
  5. 1 1/2 cups water
  6. 1 cup sugar
Instructions
  1. With a vegetable peeler, peel the Meyer lemons and scrape off any white parts with a knife. You will only want the yellow peels as the pith (white parts) are bitter.
  2. Divide the lemon peels amongst two half pint canning jars and fill with vodka or liquor leaving 3/4 inch of headspace in each jar. Place lids on top and tighten to two finger tightness.
  3. Put one cup of water into your Instant Pot and insert the trivet. Place the jars inside (do not place more than 3 half pint jars at a time if you are processing more lemons) and close and seal the lid.
  4. Set Instant Pot to Manual pressure for 30 minutes. Once complete, let the Instant Pot do a FULL natural release. Do not open the lid until the pressure gauge has gone down.
  5. Carefully remove the jars and cool overnight.
  6. On the second day, place the water and sugar in a small saucepan and boil until sugar has dissolved. Let the simple syrup cool before adding the lemon & liquor.
  7. Once cooled, strain the lemon peels from the liquor. Mix infused liquor with the cooled simple syrup. Stir well to combine and bottle up.
  8. Can store in freezer or fridge for several months. Enjoy!
Prairie Californian http://prairiecalifornian.com/
Jenny Dewey Rohrich

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  • James
    January 13, 2017 at 12:06 am

    Gonna try this tomorrow. It what exactly does, “2 finger tightness,” mean?

    • Jenny Dewey Rohrich
      March 10, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      It means as tight as you can get the lids by using only your thumb and pointer finger, not your entire hand which has much more strength to tighten.

  • Lori
    January 19, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Yummy! I made Limoncello a few years ago and gave it for Christmas gifts. It is so good! Thank you for reminding me of it. I am going to try your recipe. Hope you’re enjoying the North Dakota winter this year! I live in Minot and we’ve had our share of frigid temps…..seems to be a warming trend now 🙂

  • Marc
    February 9, 2017 at 10:28 am

    We live in the Houston area and have a meyer lemon tree in the back yard. We usually get 50 – 60 lemons a year off of it. But this year the weather was weird and they did not ripe till much later than they usually do. So on our very few days of freezing temperatures, the lemons froze and basically turned to mush. 🙁

    But the cold did not hurt our orange tree. Which is larger and produces close to 200 oranges a year. We did almost this exact recipe, but with our oranges. Though ramped it up a little by using quart jars and 24 of them total.

    You do an amazing job with your pictures on the site.
    Marc recently posted…Survival Seeds From Hometown SeedsMy Profile

    • Jenny Dewey Rohrich
      March 10, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      Oh that is awful! Sorry to hear about the loss of all that amazing citrus!

  • Bonita
    February 13, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Wouldn’t the heat destroy the alcohol?

    • Jenny Dewey Rohrich
      March 10, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      Not that I am aware, I tried it directly out of the jar without the simple syrup… It burned going down 😉

  • Diana
    February 13, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    I’m very new to Instant Pot – just unpacked and tried a few things last night! This recipe looks great as I have a tree full of lemons. I’ve been reading various sites and recipes, so many to try. But I came across a different site today with a stern warning about using liquor in the pot. The concern was that alcohol vaporized under pressure could easily ignite. She said that at most a cup of wine or beer could be safe. For this particular recipe, do you think having the vodka in the jars mitigates the risk? Are there similar recipes out there with a successful track record? Thank you

    • Jenny Dewey Rohrich
      March 10, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      Diana,
      I have seen multiple recipes utilizing liquor inside of the pot. I made vanilla extract with vodka not in jars. I can’t speak on the safety of it for everyone, but it worked well for me!

  • Sara
    February 22, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Hello Jenny! I would like to try this recipe, but I had a few quick questions (mostly clarifications so I know I understand).

    The only part of the lemons you use are the peel, correct?
    When you say “Manual Pressure” on the pot, do you mean the default high pressure?
    Cool overnight – say, on the counter? Or in the fridge?
    Your simple syrup ratio is 1.5 cup water to 1 cup sugar, correct?

    Thank you for your patience with me! I just wanted to make sure I do it all correctly – a birthday present for my hubby!

    I came across your blog randomly, and it’s fun to find people from the Dakotas! I lived in South Dakota for about 10 years. People don’t believe me when I say I loved it – it’s my little secret. (I also tried your bbq pork dry rub instant pot recipe….DElicious!)

    • Jenny Dewey Rohrich
      March 10, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      Yep just use the peels, the white part (pith) is sour! Manual pressure is yes default high pressure, there is a Manual button on my IP. I just left mine to cool on the counter. You got it on the simple syrup recipe! Hope you enjoy!!

  • Nicole
    April 9, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    I can’t have a lot of sugar so I’m wondering if I could use agave nectar or stevia.

    • Jenny Dewey Rohrich
      May 5, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      It would change the flavor of the limoncello for sure, but you can surely try it!