Thursday, January 10, 2013

Orange and Flower Water Jam plus a #Giveaway

When you like to cook, your family soon latches on and starts giving you cooking related presents.  Personally I love it and during Christmas I majorly scored with two amazing cookbooks given to me by my brother and sister.  I'm am going to review a recipe from "The Whole Beast" by Fergus Henderson soon but today, oh yes, today we are diving into "Salt Sugar Smoke" by Diana Henry.

I love this book.  I read it from front to back as soon as I opened it.  Long after the family had left the Christmas present opening area, I remained, nestled on the couch in my snuggie poring over my book.  Every few minutes I would yell out to someone, "Do you like marmalade?" or "Get over here and look at this picture!" or "Doesn't this (insert recipe name) sound delicious?"  My father quickly remarked that my brother had unleashed a beast.

I love this book.  As I picked up the giveaway copy today from Chapters and carried it home, I couldn't help but lament that I had to give it away.  If anyone needs two copies of a cookbook, it is this cookbook.  One to use and one to admire.

Why do I love this book so much?  First of all, it is out of character as I tend to hate being restrained by recipes.  However, the pictures are gorgeous.  Dripping jams, juicy fruits, beautiful cocktails, luscious meats, ahhh...  They make me want to run off into the forest with nothing but a bag of apples, some cardamom and canning jars.  The writing is perfectly sparse.  I don't want to read excessively, but I want to read enough to inspire me to try the recipe.  A short story, a tidbit of a description, a pairing suggestion, she hits the nail on the head.  And finally, the recipes are delectable.  They all sound fantastic.  Period.

So, because I believe that everyone should own a copy of this book, I am doing my part and giving one away.  I'm also celebrating my one-year anniversary of dedicating myself to this blog!

Please find the contest details below this "completely delicious, soft, bitter sweet-scented jam."  As Diana Henry suggests, "use it on sliced brioche (watch it dribble over the edges).  It's fabulous, too, spooned over cream to serve with bitter chocolate cake."

  • 7 organic oranges
  • 5 cups granulated sugar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons orange flower water, or more to taste

1. The recipe is quite simple.  Start by peeling the oranges thickly, boiling the peels in water for 10 minutes, rinsing and then soaking in fresh water overnight.  After you peel the oranges, juice them.  You should have about 2 cups of juice, drink the excess.

2. The next day, shred the peel as finely as you like.  I left mine quite thick as I think it gives it a rustic feel, which makes me enjoy eating it more.  Then, combine with the sugar, juice and lemon juice, and bring to a boil.  Turn down and simmer for 30 minutes.  Now add the orange flower water.

3. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.  Henry says that the recipe makes about 4 cups but mine made 5!  Yes!!!

The Verdict

Absolutely glorious!  I ate mine spooned into some porridge and then, later in the day, smeared on a croissant with butter.  A huge fan of cooking with flower waters in general, I just loved the richness that the orange blossom water gave the jam.

And now on to the contest details...

1. I want to know your favorite type of jam or jelly!  Let me know (and enter the contest) by:

  • Commenting on this blog post.
  • Following me on Twitter and tweeting your answer!
  • Following me on Pinterest.
  • Joining my mailing list.
2. Each thing you do gives you another entry.

3. This contest is open to residents of both the US and Canada (with the exception of Hawaii).
4. The contest closes on the last day of January, 2013.


Shonagh explores the guts of food in An Offal Experiment.


  1. mine has to be raspbery. love your blog.. i emailed u with my address.

  2. My grandma makes a delicious plum jam. She passed the recipe on to me and next year I'm going to start my own tradition.

    1. How wonderful! Let me know how your new tradition goes.

  3. All-time favorite... mint jelly, weird, I know, but delish with lambie.

  4. Strawberry is so yummi. I want to try this recipe though!

  5. Just discovered your blog from a tweet by The Daily Catch. This book is on my cookbook wish list (along with Jerusalem and Herbavoracious - and too many others). I just started canning this past summer and love it. Have you checked out Eugenia Bone's Well-Preserved? She's got some fantastic recipes.

    1. That's great! I will definitely check out Well-Preserved, beautiful cookbooks always deserve a spot in my library. I've entered you in my giveaway!