How to : Dried orange slices


My mum makes these every year for Christmas and it makes the kitchen smell wonderful. Whether you're using them for wreath garnishes, wrapping decorations, cocktail or dessert garnishes, a flavour addition to a hot herbal tea or even just to dip in chocolate and eat - these are absolutely beautiful and can last years. I don't have a dehydrator so you need to set your oven to a very low heat and allow a few hours for this. I have them in the background when I've got a day working from home. You can also use other citrus fruits such as grapefruits, lemons or limes.


Method

  1. Preheat a fan oven to 90C and line a few trays with greaseproof paper.

  2. Use a sharp knife to slice the oranges into very thin ( less than 1cm) slices. The thicker they are, the longer they will take to bake.

  3. Lay your slices in a single layer on the baking sheets, leaving a small space between them, then bake on the low heat for around 4 hours, turning them over every hour. Smaller slices or fruits like lemon/limes take the least amount of time whilst larger slices and fruits like grapefruit can take up to 6 hours.

  4. Slices are ready when they are firm, feel brittle and there's no more moisture in the segments. Once they're ready, remove them from the oven and lay them on a cooling rack where they will cool. I do this in batches starting with the small slices that are ready first (~3 hrs) and check every 20 minutes or so as the others continue to bake, until they're all done. They should be brittle enough to 'snap' once dried.

  5. Once completely cooled, I store mine in large jam jars until I need to use them.

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