I have always loved the look of dried orange slices and there are always loads at the Christmas markets, so I wanted to try making some myself. Making dried orange slices is so much easier than I thought it would be, it just takes a little time and they are really inexpensive too. Oh, and another plus is they make the house smell amazing when you bake them.
There are so many uses for dried orange slices including garlands, potpourri and ornaments for the Christmas tree, to decorate your Christmas presents and believe it or not you can use them to garnish cakes too.
- Sharp Knife or mandoline
- Wire tray (I love these 3 tier one’s UK Link/US Link)
- Baking sheet or cookie sheet
- Parchment paper (optional)
How to Dry Orange Slices
The hardest part of this is having the patience to wait for them to be dry and not be sticky!
- Slice your oranges into 1 cm strips. Make sure that you cut the oranges crossways so you get a pretty segmented look. Discard the ends.
- Blot any excess moisture onto a paper towel or tea towel.
- Place the slices onto a wire rack in a single layer.
- Alternatively, you can place on parchment paper directly onto the oven shelf or on a baking tray.
- Place in your oven at 90 degrees centigrade for 3 hours, turning once. The aim is to remove the moisture rather than cook them.
- Allow to dry overnight.
I made a second batch and dipped them in lemon juice which is supposed to preserve the colour, but there was no difference at all! The house smelt delicious when I was drying them and you could also use a food dehydrator (UK Link/US Link) if you have one, but it is days like today that have been dreaming about owning an Aga. I can imagine that using Blood Oranges, Limes or even Lemons (any citrus fruit) would look amazing. You can even dry them in an airfryer on dehydrate setting.
But what do you do once you have your DIY dried oranges? Well, we turned ours into Christmas Decorations and added them to our homemade wreaths. Just adding ribbon and a cinnamon stick makes a great simple decoration.
Ours lasted 3 years, so I am going to make some more this year but also dry some more lemon slices for contrast. Making dried orange slices has become a real Christmas tradition and this year I am going to make some potpourri with nutmeg, ginger, cloves and other spices which I think would make a great gift.