Cooking with unusual ingredients can be very rewarding, and we all love to impress our guests with unusual recipes and flavours. Using rose water and orange blossom water is a way of doing just this, with their unique taste, but purchasing these rare treats can be expensive. I cook with rose water and orange blossom water a lot; especially in historical (Medieval and Victorian) and Middle Eastern recipes. I have numerous highly scented old fashioned shrub roses in my old cottage style walled garden - great for rose water, and also an orange tree - great for making orange blossom water! Although I can buy both scented, flavoured waters in France and England, there is always something very satisfying about making your own - give it a go, I am VERY happy with the results. This recipe was found on a leaflet from a water distilling company in the UK; you DO need to use distilled water for these two recipes, which is easily purchased in most countries - I use it for my steam iron!! NB: Remember to use petals and blossom which are free of pesticides and traffic pollution. (Quantities and yields are dependent on how many blossoms and petals you use.........last time I made rose water, I used 4 ounces of petals and had a yeild of 4 small bottles.)
- How to go about making your delicious Rose and Orange Blossom water:.
- Pick your petals and blossom early in the morning, ideally those which have been grown completely organically.
- Rinse the petals and blossom carefully in cold water, taking care to remove all dirt and any pesky insects.
- Crush the petals or blossom with a mortar and pestle, and leave them to rest for a few hours, place them in a jar with some distilled water - don’t go overboard with the water as you can always add more later.
- Leave the jar, with the lid on, in the sun for a couple of weeks, and check the scent. If it is too weak, continue to leave in the sun for another week or so.
- Experiment with the quantities of water and petals to see what works for your water, and voila, you will be known as a culinary genius. Good luck and happy cooking!