Dried orange slices make an attractive garnish for baked goods and desserts, but they are most commonly used as a purely decorative item. Display dried orange slices to wreaths or garlands, include them in potpourri or use them to adorn flower arrangements. The bright orange fruit becomes translucent after drying, adding color and textural interest to any display. If you have an oven, you have the ability to make your own dried orange slices at home.
Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature setting, usually 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Orange slices dehydrate well, and because of their moisture content, they can withstand temperatures as high as 200 degrees Fahrenheit. A convection oven is even more effective at dehydrating foods.
Slice the orange crosswise with a sharp knife. Cut it into uniform 1/4-inch thick slices. Dispose of the the stem and blossom-end slices.
Blot orange slices with paper towels to remove some of the excess moisture before placing in the oven.
Place a wire rack inside a baking sheet. Lay the orange slices on top of the rack, leave one-half inch of space between the slices to allow for air circulation.
Set the baking sheet in the oven. Leave the door open 2 to 4 inches so the air can circulate and moisture can escape the oven.
Dry the orange slices in the oven for six to 12 hours, or until the peel is hard and the fruit is dry and leathery. Allow the slices to cool completely after drying.
Store the dried orange slices in a sealed plastic bag until you are ready to use them.
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- Use a food dehydrator instead of the oven. A dehydrator can take up to half the time to fully dry the oranges, compared to oven-drying.
- Set a fan outside the oven to supply further air circulation and help speed drying.
Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.
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