Dried orange slices and peel are lovely to use in Christmas crafts and recipes. Although they are available in the shops they are super simple to make at home. Not only does it work out cheaper, they will also make you home smell divine!
If you are planning to use your orange slices and peel 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. I’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.
How to Dry Orange Slices
For dried orange slices, simply slice up your fruit 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. The orange slices shown below took about 24hrs to dry out.
How to Dry Orange Peel
To dry the orange peel simply par off the rind trying to avoid removing any pith with it. Spread it out on a piece of muslin and fold over the edges to protect. Then 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. We used ours in our DIY Spice Bags. You needn’t stop with oranges, these methods work equally well with any citrus fruit.