Orange Blossom Water
Orange Blossom Water, aka orange flower water, is the by product of steam distillation to obtain the essential oils of the orange blossom tree. Its traditionally used in many French and Middle Eastern Pastries. In the west its used to flavor cakes and drinks. Orange blossom water is also used for facial treatments in higher end salons and spas.
Cooking with Orange Flower Water
When using flower water in cooking just remember, less is more. If you have ever used orange water or flower water, you know how strong it is and that very little is needed to flavor your recipes. Orange water is used in countless dishes ranging from deserts to beverages. We use it in some of our fresh baked baklava to give it a unique and delicious flavor. Its used in jams and marmalades and in scones, cakes, syrups, marshmallows and cocktails.
Because it may be hard to find locally, a lot of people may look for a flower water substitution, only to be disappointed by the lack of flavor that only true orange flower water brings. Its bouquet and flavor profile is extremely unique and finding a suitable substitute can be is next to impossible. With that said, you can try to use orange liqueur, orange extract or even rose water. But you have to remember that orange water is made from the distillation of the pulp, seeds, peel, leaves and bark of the bitter orange tree and not from the blossoms themselves, so there really is no substitute that will do the job.
Health & Beauty
Orange flower water works great on oily and sensitive skin. It has astringent properties which help to soothe acne and refine pores, giving you healthier, smoother looking skin. You could put some directly on a cotton ball and use it as a natural toner that cleanses at the same time. Orange water also helps with redness and you can use it as a substitute for rose water if it is drying out your skin.