My inspiration to attempt to dry oranges and orange slices began when I saw the stunning Holiday Spice Christmas tree by RAZ.
I loved everything about this tree! But what really got my attention was the beautiful garlands made with dried whole oranges, slices, and cinnamon sticks.
There are other ornaments of apples, pomegranates, spice jars, frosted berry picks, and more on this tree. Goodness, it would be a great tree to put up in the fall and leave until January! Seems like you could just smell the clove, citrus, and cinnamon. Even though artificial ornaments don’t have any smell, they sure invoke those aromatic scents))
So, I thought I would try my hand at drying or dehydrating some oranges and orange slices. My air fryer has a dehydration setting of 150° for six hours. I chose some fresh Mandarin oranges and started slicing.
Make some crosswise slices in the oranges, and discard the tops and bottoms. For whole oranges, make cuts about 1/2″ apart, without cutting all the way through. The sections will fan out a bit as they start drying.
Place slices and whole oranges on parchment paper and start the dehydrating process. I used my air fryer dehydrating setting which cycled for about 6 hours. Repeat as many cycles as necessary until the oranges are sufficiently dry. Mine were still a little bit sticky to the touch after several cycles.
You could also use your oven, but I didn’t want to do mine inside the house for that long a time. My air fryer is on the back porch with the outdoor kitchen.
My orange slices didn’t stay perfectly round but I thought they turned out pretty good for a first attempt))) Occasionally I would check on them and pat them dry a little bit without disturbing them too much. Sometimes I would take a toothpick to the whole oranges and remove a little of the pulp.
I thought the drying process retained the color pretty well. Next time I might try dipping them in Fruit Fresh to see if that helps keep the original color.
What I did find out was that in order to have enough dehydrated whole and orange slices to decorate even a small tree, I would have had to work on it all year! But I was able to dry enough oranges to use in an arrangement on my coffee table, so that was good enough))
I love the way the slices looked with tiny lights behind them. As far as a nice smell….they really didn’t retain that orange smell, I don’t suppose I should have expected them to. I just popped in some ScentSicles in the arrangement to help with that.
The wooden bowl has been on my coffee table for a while! But I love wood decor. I’ve noticed lately that anything with wooden beads has been trending too. Here’s a post I did about that if you would like to know more.
Next on the Agenda!
Apples….I wonder how apple slices would dry. Have you tried any? I’d love to know how yours turned out))