Since Valentine’s Day is on a weekend this year, this lightly flavoured recipe for oranges might make an interesting option for a lazy breakfast or even a special dessert. Cardamon is used in Asia and Africa as an aphrodisiac, cinnamon is considered a fire herb which stimulates slow burning warmth and need we discuss rose? Who knows where the syrup might end up.
It does need to sit for a few days so this will give you some time to decide and gather your ingredients. If rosewater is not something you keep on hand for lotions and cooking, try your local South Asian store. It is only a couple of dollars and once you have a bottle there are other adventures you can get into.
You will need:
2 1/4 pounds navel oranges ( try some blood oranges or maybe pink grapefruit as well)
2.5 cups of water
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons rose water
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
1 clove bud (optional)
Start by taking a deep breath and focusing your intention, especially if you have adventurous plans for this dish. The deep breath will start your body relaxing. Take a moment to also open your heart center, feel the freedom and lack of a protective barrier, some call it the heart wall. Be open, take another deep breath and invite the compassionate spirits or possibly Aphrodite to visit for awhile.
Using a vegetable peeler on one orange, cut away the peel, leaving as much of the pith (the white stuff) on the orange as possible. I cut the peel into thin strips and placed the pieces in a small pot of water, bringing it to a boil. This will get rid of some of the bitter taste of the peel. You can also do it a second time to soften the flavour more.
Allow the mixture to simmer lively for about 10 minutes. This will allow some of the water to evaporate and the `sauce` to thicken. It will not thicken a lot as there is relatively little sugar in the pot.
Once ready strain the ingredients from the sugar water and add the rosewater, stir. (You can see two cinnamon sticks because I doubled the recipe.)
I found it is easiest to top and tail the oranges and then cut from top to bottom with a knife. It does not matter if the segments are cut open as the intention is to infuse the fruit with the syrup.
Cut into thick slices and if you can see thick stem sections in the middle of the orange slice, take those out as well.
Place your slices in a clean jar(s) and cover with the hot syrup. Close the jar and allow to cool. Store in the fridge and allow to sit for at least 2 days. Longer is better. As long as your oranges are immersed in the syrup they will last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
I also tried heating the jars in the oven to 250 degrees and boiling sealers for three minutes. When everything was ready. I quickly filled the hot jars with fresh fruit, topped the slices with boiling liquid and sealed them tight. The lids did suck down and seal. They were however pretty easy to open so I don`t think I would just store them on a shelf for months on end as the oranges were not actually cooked.
Click through the link on the right at the bottom of this page for some serving suggestions for Oranges in Cardamon, Cinnamon and Rosewater Syrup