A splash of delicate orange blossom water gives the fresh, bright grapefruit buttercream in our newest macaron a real touch of elegance! Orange blossom water, or orange flower water, has traditionally been used in many Mediterranean dessert dishes, as well as in North African and Middle Eastern cooking. It's not actually to difficult to make, either! Except, of course, for the part where you have to get your hands on some orange blossoms, which is a bit of a trick here in our temperate rainforest... the good news is the method below can also be used to make rosewater, and rose petals are a totally different story as far as availability especially in the Garden City! Let us know if you try this out!
Orange Blossom Water
What You Need:
Orange flower petals, preferably from Seville orange trees
Bowl, strainer and fresh water for washing the petals
Stone or porcelain mortar and pestle
Large glass jar with lid
Small sterilized glass jars or bottles for storing the orange flower water
1. Use flowers that have not been sprayed with herbicides, pesticides, or insecticides.
2. Flowers should not be hybrid varieties as the smell and essence may have been bred out of them in favor of "showiness."
3. Pick blossoms early in the morning before the sun gets too hot, about 2 to 3 hours after sunrise.
4. Wash the blossoms and petals in cool water and rinse thoroughly to remove insects and dirt.
5. Macerate petals using a stone or porcelain mortar and pestle and let sit for several hours.
6. Place petals in a large glass jar with lid and cover with distilled water. Less is more. You can always add more later.
7. 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.
8. Strain the blossom water into several smaller sterilized jars with lids.
9. Store in a cool dark location such as the refrigerator.