Dried orange slices are lovely to use in Christmas crafts, as well as recipes. Although you can buy them, they are super simple to make at home – plus you get the added bonus of having the fragrance in your home!
If you are planning to use your slices in recipes, please bear in mind that you need to adhere to your usual food preparation practices, for example, hand washing and appropriate covered storage for them to be considered safe for consumption. We’d also recommend that you use unwaxed fruit if you are planning to consume them, and particularly so for the dried zest part of this tutorial.
For the dried slices, simply slice up your oranges evenly (ours are between 5-10mm) and spread out on a drying rack. It is useful to make holes now with a skewer if you plan to add string or a ribbon later. Leave your oranges to dry in a warm place turning occasionally. We have an Aga, so leave ours on top of that, but on top of a floor standing boiler or near a radiator works well too. Ours took about 24hrs to dry out.
To dry the rind simply par off the rind trying to avoid removing any pith with it. Spread it out on a piece of muslin, fold over the edges to protect, and leave on a drying rack to dry in a warm place. Citrus rind has a high concentration of the oils which gives the fruit its scent and flavour, and is delicious added to all manner of dishes – you can see us using it in our DIY Spice Bags here. You needn’t stop with oranges, the above methods work equally well with any citrus fruit.