Welcome to National Liqueur Day. In parts of the United States, liqueurs may also be called cordials. Historically, liqueurs descend from herbal medicines prepared by monks in Italy as early as the 13th century. They steeped these often bitter herbs and sweetened them with sugar to make them more palatable to the monks’ ailing patients. The curative’s potency received a restful boost from its alcohol content as well.
How should we celebrate National Liqueur Day? The most obvious would be to go out drinking with friends. But then again, that’s a bit easy. So instead let’s make our own simple Amaretto. Now we could drink our finished Amaretto, or better still cook with it. I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge fan of Crème Brûlée, especially one that has been kissed with just a hint of boozy flavor.
In honor of National Liqueur Day, I give you both – Amaretto and Amaretto Crème Brûlée. Enjoy!
Home Brewed Amaretto Liqueur
1 cup Water
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 cups Vodka
2 tablespoons Almond Extract
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add both the white and brown sugars. Reduce the heat to low, simmer, stirring constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Remove the simple syrup from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
Add the vodka to a 4-cup measuring cup. Stir in Almond Extract, Vanilla Extract and simple syrup. Stir until well mixed.
Pour the amaretto liqueur through a funnel into a bottle and seal.
This can be given as a gift, served on its own over ice, used in coffee or even to create a creamy dessert.
Amaretto Crème Brûlée
4 large Egg Yolks
2 cups Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons Amaretto Liqueur
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
1/2 cup Sugar,
6 tablespoons Sugar for topping
Assorted Berries, optional garnish
Heat oven to 350-degrees. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.
Separate eggs, reserve whites for another recipe (egg white Omelette?). Set yolks aside.
In a saucepan, bring cream, amaretto, and almond extract to a boil.
Whisk egg yolks with 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a large metal or copper bowl. Slowly whisk the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture until well blended, gradually adding the hot liquid to prevent eggs from cooking.
Place 8 (6 oz) ramekins in a baking dish. Ladle cream mixture into the ramekin dishes. Pour boiling water into the baking dish to about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Carefully place the pan in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the centers barely move. You may have to adjust the baking time, depending on the size/depth of the baking dishes.
Cool the Crème Brûlée to room temperature, then chill for about 6 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, sprinkle each Crème Brûlée with a few teaspoons of sugar. Carefully torch sugar to melt, moving in a circular motions and taking care not to burn.
If not using a kitchen torch, place ramekins on a baking sheet and place under the broiler, turning and watching closely, until sugar turns a darker brown, about 90 seconds to 2 minutes.
Garnish each Crème Brûlée a scattering of fresh berries if desired.