orange & flower water jam

A few weeks ago I bought a couple of bags of blood oranges. As ever, it was hot and miss how ‘bloody’ the oranges were – some were a deep red but others had a much more mottled orange and red colour.

This jam is made with a mix but you really can’t tell from the colour. However, it is a beautiful jam – described by Diana Henry, whose recipe I used, as a “lovely, soft, bitter sweet-scented jam” and which she recommends served on slices of brioche, spooned over ice cream or with a bitter chocolate cake. So far I’ve only managed it on toast, which is also delicious.

If anyone knows why this is described as a jam, and not a marmalade, please do let me know.

Diana Henry’s Orange and Flower Water Jam (fills four 225g jars)
1kg oranges
1 kg granulated sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons orange flower water, or more to taste 

Remove the zest from the oranges in broad stripes, leaving the white pith. Squeeze the juice and chill (you should have c500ml). Simmer the zest in water for 10 minutes, until soft. Drain well, cover with fresh water and soak overnight. Next day, drain and cut into fine shreds.

Put the zest in a pan with the orange juice, sugar and lemon juice. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring to help the sugar dissolve, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. This isn’t meant to set firmly but do the wrinkle test (put a plate in the freezer when you start making the jam and when the rolling bubbles have calmed and the jam starts to look heavy and glossy, spoon a small amount of jam onto the plate and refrigerate for a few minutes then push it with a finger to see if it wrinkles – pot this when it just wrinkles). Remove from the heat, skim the surface of any scum and stir in the flower water.

Pot in warm sterilised jars and seal.