Today, I am sharing how to dry oranges and other fruit. It’s a great way to add warmth and charm to your holiday decor. Plus, dried fruit and foliage is a wonderful eco-friendly alternative to decorating your home for the holidays.
Natural elements and dried fruit used in Christmas decorations provide a nostalgic feeling of traditions long ago. The importance of dried orange slices used in winter decor is to welcome a bit of bright ‘sunshine’ when the days are often cold and dark.
How To Dry Oranges
- First, thinly slice oranges 1/8 inch thick with a knife and cutting board. However, a mandolin vegetable slicer will provide perfectly even, thin slices every time.
- Next, place sliced oranges onto baking sheet in oven for 4-6 hours at 170 degrees. Be sure to rotate the fruit every hour to ensure even cooking.
- Lastly, remove from oven to cool and place on paper towel. If possible, hang to allow oranges to completely dry.
Silicone baking mat or wire rack?
Silicone baking mats, wire racks and parchment paper are placed directly on baking sheets when cooking. However, I prefer to use the baking mats or parchment paper so that the sliced fruit doesn’t get ‘grill marks’ when cooking. Whichever way you choose, use either one to prevent the fruit from sticking to the baking sheet.
Other Dried Fruit Decorations
Not only can oranges be dried for decorations, but many other fruits can be as well. For example, bake any kind of citrus fruits including grapefruit, lemons, limes or star fruit. Plus, a variety of apples and pears dry beautifully. You can remove the core, but I prefer to leave the core in tact. It creates a wonderful texture and detail.
Tips When Drying Fruit
Each kind of fruit takes different amounts of time to dry. I prefer to turn the oven on low to dry fruit, and keep it slow and steady. Most importantly, keep an eye on any fruit in the oven to prevent it from under or overcooking. For example, if the rinds of the orange begin to harden, they are done. Typically, this is around the 4 hour mark. However, pears and apples tend to take around 6 hours to fully dry. Basically, the thicker the slice, the longer it takes to dry in the oven.
Apples and pears are a bit different than citrus fruits. Therefore, douse these fruits in lemon juice before drying to prevent browning. Once completely dry, seal the dried fruit with clear acrylic sealer to prevent spoiling.
9 Ways to Use Dried Fruit
Again, decorating with natural elements is eco-friendly and sustainable. For example, fresh or dried greenery, dried fruit, cinnamon sticks, pinecones and cranberries create a festive combination. Therefore, here are a few ways that you can use dried fruit to decorate this holiday season.
- Potpourri – Sprinkle essential oils on dried flowers, fruit or leaves and pinecones in a bowl
- Garland – String dried orange slices onto jute with cranberries, cinnamon sticks or bay leaves
- Ornaments – Hang a dried orange slice on the Christmas tree with ribbon or fishing line
- Charcuterie Decor – Add dried fruit and rosemary to charcuterie boards for a pretty, aromatic touch
- Wreath – Update an old wreath with bundles of dried orange slices and pinecones
- Place Cards – Hand write names on paper scrolls tied to dried fruit slices at each place setting
- Holiday Swags – Attach dried fruit to floral wire to place into pine or cedar garlands and swags
- Floral Arrangement – Attach dried fruit to wired wooden floral picks to add to flower bouquets
- Gift Wrap – Decorate packages with dried fruit, seasonal greenery and pretty ribbon or yarn
See lots of beautiful, natural gift wrap ideas, here.
I hope these simple tips taught you how to dry oranges. Plus, gave you a few ideas to use dried fruit in your home! You can see how our featured artist, Sammy Allen made resin orange slices, here. Be sure to check out our gift wrap tips, too!