Yum, Hank put together this gorgeous dessert with some blood oranges we swiped from my parents’ tree. ~Elise
This was the first dessert I ever made to impress a girl, years ago when I was attending graduate school in Wisconsin. We were both athletes, and eating for us had mostly been about fuel, not fun. But it was Valentine’s Day and I was making her dinner, so I wanted something exotic and, well, sexy, to end the meal. When I read about this Moroccan classic in one of my cookbooks, I knew I had my dessert.
I’ve made these oranges periodically ever since that night, and this dish is as lovely as it is simple: Fresh oranges (of whatever variety), doused in orange flower water, dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon. That’s it.
The only change I’ve made to the recipe over the years is to macerate the orange slices in the orange flower water for an hour or so to deepen the flavor. Sometimes I’ll use different-colored varieties of oranges—blood oranges, cara cara oranges and navels are a pretty trio—just to fancy things up.
While we used blood oranges here, any sweet orange will work. Orange flower water can be found at Whole Foods or at a Mediterranean market.
- 3-4 oranges
- 1/4 cup orange flower water
- 1-2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 Slice the top and bottom off each orange. Slice off the rind and all the pith and then cut the orange into 1/4 inch rounds. Sprinkle a little orange flower water in the bottom of a wide-bottomed glass or plastic container and lay the orange slices on top. If you need to do more than one layer of oranges to get them all in the container, sprinkle more orange flower water over each orange layer as you go. Add any remaining orange flower water, cover the container and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.
2 To serve, take the oranges out of the container and arrange on a plate. Add a little of the liquid from the container. Just as you serve, sprinkle some powdered sugar and cinnamon over the oranges.