It’s the Holiday season, which means… DRIED FRUIT MAKING TIME! Dried oranges and other citrus fruits as well as apples look beautiful when dried and used for ornaments, and they can also be used as potpourri around the house. Dried oranges can be expensive to buy (I’ve found them for around $12 for just 4oz), but so easy to make.
All you need are oranges, an oven, and a sharp knife.
Set your oven to 250 degrees, and start slicing away!
I’ve found that a serrated knife works the best when slicing through fruit, especially citrus fruit with a thick peel. We want these to be as beautiful as possible, since we’ll be using these for decoration.
Be SUPER careful when doing this – I’ve found this to be the easiest way to slice through the end of the lemon. I’ve seen people use a fork so that they don’t slice their fingers off! You do need a very sharp knife so that you’re not hacking away at it, and I’m using just the pad of my finger to keep it in place. If you’re not comfortable with this, please DO NOT do this.
Lay your sliced oranges on paper towels or kitchen towels. You want to take as much moisture off these slices as possible. More moisture you take off now, the less moisture needs to evaporate off the oranges.
And the thicker your oranges are, the more time they would need to dry! Try not to slice your oranges too thin, however, or the pulp starts to fall apart (years of drying citrus fruits has taught me this).
I’ve found that laying the oranges on a rack within a sheet pan helps to dry them out quicker. The air circulating helps to reduce your work (you don’t have to flip the slices during baking).
2.5 hours later in the preheated oven, here are my oranges!
Fun fact – this is also a great way to see where the hot zones are in your oven. You can see that a few of my slices are a bit “well done”.
Look how pretty. And the house smells like oranges, which I’m a big fan of!
Store in an air tight container until using – whether it’s a jar or a zip lock bag.
You could make your own wreaths (here it is with some apple slices I had dried as well), or make Christmas ornaments for your tree. You can also use these as additions to wrapped gifts or gift tags! The possibilities are endless!