How to dehydrate orange slices for Fall and Winter decorations
As the leaves start to change colors and the weather gets cooler, it’s time to start thinking about decorating your home for fall and winter. And one easy way to add some seasonal flair is by using dehydrated citrus slices (usually oranges) in your decorations.
Here’s a quick guide on how to dry them yourself, at home. It’s really simple to do and the end result looks beautiful.
What you need to make dried citrus slices for decor
- Oranges, but I recommend also using blood oranges and other citrus fruits like lime, grapefruit, or lemons for more variety in your decorations
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Parchment paper
- Skewer sticks (optional)
- Baking tray
- Oven (or you can use a food dehydrator if you own one)
How to dry orange slices at home
The drying process consists of slowly baking the sliced fruits for several hours at a low temperature. This will essentially dehydrate them. It is really important that the temperature is not too high or else they will be slightly burned. Here are the steps:
- Cut your oranges (and other citrus fruits if you decide to mix them up) into slices, trying to make them as equally thick as you can. Aim for thinner rather than too thick, because then it will take a very long time to dehydrate. However, make sure you don’t cute them too thin either, because they will lose their shape after they dry. A good size is a quarter of an inch (around 0.6 cm).
- Pat the orange slices with some paper towels to remove excess juice.
- Put the parchment papaer on your cookie sheet and lay the slices over it in a single layer. I also used skewer sticks to lift them up a bit from the paper for better airflow, however, this is not mandatory.
- Set your oven temperature between 180 F and 190 F (or 80 – 90 Celsius) and let the orange slices sit in for a few hours (usually it takes 3 to 5 hours). You will know they’re done when the interior of the orange becomes slightly translucent. If you have an electric oven with a ventilator, turn it on as well.
- If you put the orange slices directly on the cooking paper, make sure to turn them on their other side every hour.
- Thinner slices will be ready sooner, check the tray periodically near the end, to remove the slices that are already done
How to use dried orange slices in decorations
You can add the dried citrus slices in a variety of decorations like:
- Table centerpieces: they complement well decorations with pumpkins, candles, pine cones, cinnamon sticks, leaves, and branches, making them a great choice for both fall and winter.
- Candles: glue the slices directly to the candle with a star anise in the middle or add them to a decoration surrounding it.
- Wreaths: glue them individually or stick them in groups in different spots on your wreaths.
- Christmas presents: stick them in the middle of the bow, on the wrapping, or glue them on the note.
- Garlands: you can make garlands from slices of dehydrated oranges or you can also add cinnamon, pine cones, and tree branches.
- Christmas tree: you can hang them on the Christmas tree with ornament hooks. They look especially nice in front of light bulbs, because of the light that shines through them.
And the best thing about them is that you can save them for next year as well because they won’t get bad if they’re properly dehydrated. They will however lose their orange color over time, but I actually like that and I often pair old slices with newer ones in my decorations.
So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about drying orange slices at home, to use in your fall and winter decor. Be sure to get started soon so your home can be adorned with these beautiful decorations in time for the holidays.
Have fun and happy drying!