In this post, learn how to dry orange slices to use in traditional Christmas decor as well as in holiday recipes. No fancy equipment required!
I tried to learn how to dry orange slices a few years ago and I wasn’t completely successful, but I wanted to try again this year because I have a few fun little Christmassy tricks up my sleeve that I’d like to be able to use them for this season. The key, which is not my strong suit, is patience. Perfectly dried orange slices are easy to make, but they do take the better part of a day, so make sure to make them at least the day before you need them if you have a specific use for them in mind.
- Navel oranges (I used three to fill two baking sheets)
- Baking sheets
- Parchment paper or non-stick baking mats
- Your oven
I wouldn’t suggest using a non-stick spray for your oranges if you intend to use them for decor at all because you don’t want a greasy residue being left on everything they touch. Completely dry orange slices are best!
How to Dry Orange Slices in the Oven
The trick to getting perfectly dry orange slices is to use a very low heat setting, which is of course why these take so long. Oranges have a lot of water in them and that takes time to dry out! Whatever you do, don’t raise the temperature of your oven hoping to speed the process up a bit, your slices will almost definitely burn and discolour and you’ll be right back at square one. So take your time, have some patience, and enjoy the delightfully orangey scent filling your home that day. 🙂
To dry the oranges, slice them carefully into rounds of no more than 1/4 inch thick using a very sharp knife. 1/8 inch is better if you can manage it.
Arrange the slices on your parchment-lined baking sheets so that each slice has plenty of breathing room and no slices are touching each other.
Bake at 180-200 degrees, depending on how low your oven will go, for about 4 hours, rotating the trays every hour or so. Begin checking for done-ness after about 3 hours and remove your orange slices when they’re fully dry!
You can see that mine are definitely imperfect, and I did end up with some darker spots on the oranges, but I almost think that adds to the authentic look.
There were no food dehydrators back in Victorian times when dried orange slices were so popular for Christmas decor, so I’m going to assume theirs were slightly imperfect too. 🙂
You can use these orange slices in recipes, garlands, wreaths, or you can just hang them right on your tree!
Have you ever tried making dried orange slices in your oven?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.