Orange Flower Water (also called Orange Blossom Water) is used in Moroccan cooking, particularly in desserts and sweets. Pure Orange Flower Water requires steam distillation, but this easy home method will still yield Orange Flower Blossom Water fragrant enough for cooking.
Seville orange blossoms from the Mediterranean are traditionally used, but you can try other varieties. Or, use rose petals to make your own Rose Petal Water.
Many thanks to Heleigh Bostwick of Marigold Lane for sharing this recipe with About.com. Heleigh notes that you may need to experiment with the quantities of petals and water.
Time Required: 1 hour preparation, plus several weeks steeping time
- Use flowers that have not been sprayed with herbicides, pesticides, or insecticides.
- Flowers should not be hybrid varieties as the smell and essence may have been bred out of them in favor of "showiness."
- Pick blossoms early in the morning before the sun gets too hot, about 2 to 3 hours after sunrise.
- Wash the blossoms and petals in cool water and rinse thoroughly to remove insects and dirt.
- Macerate petals using a stone or porcelain mortar and pestle and let sit for several hours.
- Place petals in a large glass jar with lid and cover with distilled water. Less is more. You can always add more later.
- Let stand in the full sun for a couple of weeks. Check the scent. If it is too weak leave it in the sun for another week.
- Strain the blossom water into several smaller sterilized jars with lids.
- Store in a cool dark location such as the refrigerator.
What You Need:
- Orange flower petals, preferably from Seville orange trees
- Distilled water
- Bowl, strainer and fresh water for washing the petals
- Stone or porcelain mortar and pestle
- Large glass jar with lid
- Small sterilized glass jars for storing the orange flower water