England, 16th c.
Recipe by Daniel Myers
This is positively wonderful stuff. The combination of oranges and rose water fills the house with an incredible fragrance as it boils, and the resulting preserves are simply delightful.
The oranges available in the medieval period were more bitter than the ones we get now. I therefore left out the precooking step as it wouldn't improve the flavor, and would probably have lessened it quite a bit.
4 lbs. oranges
4 cups sugar
1 cup rose water
1 cup water
Cut the zest from the oranges and set aside. Then carefully slice the remaining peel and pith from the oranges. Slice the oranges thinly, and place into a large pot along with the zest, sugar, water, and rose water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the oranges break up and the mixture begins to thicken. Serve at room temperature.
To make Conserve of Orenges. Take Orenges and pare them very thin the red of the out sides away and quarter them in four, and take away the white of the inside, then seeth them in faire water softlye for breaking, ofte change them in warm water til they be lost: as the yelownes dooth seeth away, so weareth away the bitternes, then take them out of the water and lay them in a fair vessell that the water may run away from them, then beate them small with a spoone, and put to every pound of Orenges one pound of sugar, and half a pound of Rosewater, and boile them togither and box them.