Today I am sharing a simple method to dry oranges for the holiday season. Family gathered in, fires crackling, festive aromas, music, food, warm lights twinkling are the things that Christmas memories are made off and it all begins with my sense of smell – there is nothing to start my season off better than the scent of oranges permeating my home!
How to Dry Oranges for Christmas
Let me show you how to dry oranges for Christmas! Drying oranges is guaranteed to put me in a festive mood, it is so easy to do and the house smells fabulous while I’m at it! I keep my eyes open for bargain bags of oranges (usually at the end of the day at the market), snap them up, slice them into 1-2cm slices, pat them dry and pop them into a low oven (120°C) for about three hours. It’s important to turn them every half hour or so and to put them on a metal cooling rack over a baking tray so the air can circulate around them easily and they don’t burn or stick but that’s it!
I hang some in the kitchen where the warm air from the oven ensures I am surrounded by their delicious citrus smell as I’m baking for Christmas. They are easy to thread onto pretty ribbons and I also pile them into a basket with pine cones, cinnamon sticks and walnuts which I put in front of the wood burner to fill the sitting room with the scent of Christmas.
Drying Whole Oranges
I don’t have a mantle piece over my fire but if I did I would love to have a go at making a swag out of whole dried oranges, dried orange and apple slices and dried chillies like these beauties I saw at the Bath Christmas Market last year! Whole oranges take longer because of all that juice, you need to cut slits in the skin and put them in a very low oven for 12 – 24 hours. It’s worth making a batch or two of meringues, drying some chilli, peppers and tomatoes at the same time with all that lovely heat!
I know this isn’t, strictly speaking, a recipe but I’m popping it into a printable just for you!
Simple instruction to dry orange slices for Christmas decorations and suggestions for drying whole oranges.
Slice oranges into 1-2cm thick slices
Pat dry with a clean tea towel
Place them on a metal cooling rack over a baking tray so that air can circulate around them easily and they don’t burn or stick.
Pop them into a low oven (120°C) for about three hours.
Turn them over every half hour or so. It is really important to keep checking them, the thinner they are the quicker they will dry - you don't want burnt oranges!
Your oranges are ready when they are dry to the touch - they will still be a little bit sticky. The longer you dry them for the longer they will last
Hanging your dried oranges in front of a light really allows them to shine – I just made a little hole through the top of each orange and threaded them with string. Christmas has begun!
If you’re looking for more ideas for your Christmas home you might like these
Stunning Ice Lanterns with Foraged Leaves and Berries
Giant Paper Pom Poms
Simple Tin Can Lanterns