When Life Gives You Limoncello, Make Dessert

| June 23, 2014

limoncello sabayon

Limoncello (lee-mohn-CHEH-loh) is an italian lemon liquor produced in the southern part of Italy near the Amalfi Coast, Naples, the isle of Capri and the Sorrentine peninsula. Although over a hundred years old, it’s origin remains a mystery. It is made from the zest of Sorrento lemons. The zest, or peels without the pith, is steeped in grain alcohol until the oil of the peel is released. The resulting liquid is then mixed with simple syrup made of sugar and water. One of our favorites is Villa Massa Limoncello, which is an authentic Sorrento version produced from an infusion of fresh Sorrento Oval Lemon Peels made with top quality alcohol with the syrup made from refined sugar and purified water.  Although traditionally served chilled after a meal or in a cocktail, the award winning , premium Villa Massa Limoncello is wonderful used in dessert. 

Two of our favorite recipes are Frozen Limoncello Sabayon, a creamy confection that is delicious, served with fresh berries and Limoncello Curd. Limoncello curd is a delicious sauce used on fresh fruit or in cake recipes.  This is a replacement for the traditional lemon curd and the Villa Massa Limoncello adds a delicious tang.


Frozen Limoncello Sabayon


  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
  • ½ cup Villa Massa or homemade Limoncello
  • I cup simple syrup (made with ½ cup sugar, 1 cup water, juice of 1 lemon)


  1. In a saucepan, combine all the simple syrup ingredients, bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes, constantly stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.
  2. Combine the cool syrup with the softened mascarpone and the Limoncello in a mixer. Pour the thoroughly combined mixture into a glass backing dish and freeze for at least 6 hours until ready to use. 
  3. Serve with fresh berries and fresh mint.


Limoncello Curd

Serves: 1-1/2 cup


  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 c fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons) we prefer Meyer Lemons
  • 2 Tbsp. Limoncello (Homemade or our preference Villa Massa)
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest, finely grated
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter; cut into small pieces


  1. Microwave the lemons for 10 seconds to loosen juice inside; Using a microplane, zest lemon rind   before you cut the lemons, cut and squeeze the lemons and strain remove any seeds and pulp.
  2. In the top of a double broiler combine the eggs, sugar and then add the lemon juice.
  3. Simmer over hot water, whisking the entire time for 10 minutes or longer until the mixture is the consistency of thick pudding. You can use a candy thermometer and the temperature needs to reach 170°m/l.  Don't let the mixture boil!
  4. Remove from the heat and whisk the butter into the curd until butter is dissolved;
  5. Stir in the lemon zest.
  6. Let the mixture cool and thicken.
  7. Pour into a small glass container and seal tightly or cover with plastic wrap to avoid a skin forming
  8. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Enjoy in cakes and on fresh berries.

These are wonderfully refreshing on warm summer nights. Enjoy!


Charlotte Goldblatt






Filed in: Daily Dish, Recipes