How to Dry Orange Slices in the Oven - Drying orange slices in the oven is a simple and effective way to extend their shelf life and create edible and appealing orange wheels. These oven dried orange slices are easy to make, smell amazing, and are highly versatile. Use them as festive holiday garlands, cocktail or cake garnishes or even as a chocolate dipped snack!
Whether you want to use dried orange slices for cooking, baking, or as a healthy snack, these easy steps will show you how to create them in your kitchen.
Why Dry Orange Slices?
Drying orange slices not only helps to preserve their flavors but also concentrates their natural sweetness. The drying process removes the water content from the fruits, making them last longer and creating a unique flavor profile.
How to Dry Orange Slices in the Oven
Follow these simple steps to dry oranges in your oven:
1. Gather Your Ingredients and Tools
You will need:
- Fresh oranges (such as naval, cara-cara and blood oranges)
- A sharp knife or mandolin
- A cutting board
- Parchment paper
- A baking sheet
- A cooling rack
2. Preheat Your Oven
Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature setting, usually around 200°F. This low temperature ensures that the citrus fruits dry slowly and evenly without burning or losing their flavors.
3. Prepare the Citrus Fruits
Wash the citrus fruits thoroughly under cold water to remove any dirt or residue. Pat them dry with a clean towel. Use a sharp knife or mandolin to slice the fruits into thin, even slices. Aim for slices that are about ¼ inch thick.
4. Arrange the Citrus Slices
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent the citrus slices from sticking. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the baking sheet, ensuring that they do not overlap. This allows the hot air to circulate around the slices and promotes even drying.
5. Place the Citrus Slices in the Oven
Place the baking sheet with the orange slices in the preheated oven. Pat them dry with a paper towel and bake for 2-3 hours, or until they are completely dehydrated. Make sure you flip them halfway through so that both sides of the orange slices can bake evenly.
Please note that the exact baking time may vary depending on the thickness of the slices and the moisture content of the fruits.
6. Cool and Store the Dried Orange Slices
Once the orange slices are dry and brittle, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely on a cooling rack. This helps to prevent moisture from accumulating and spoiling the dried fruits. Once cooled, store the dried orange slices in an airtight container or a resealable bag. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Tips for Drying Citrus Fruits
Here are some additional tips to ensure successful drying of citrus fruits:
- Choose ripe and fresh citrus fruits for the best flavor and texture.
- Experiment with different citrus varieties such as lemons and limes to discover unique flavor combinations.
- Consider using a mandolin slicer for even and consistent citrus slices.
- Rotate the baking sheet halfway through the drying process for even drying.
- Check the citrus slices regularly towards the end of the drying time to prevent over-drying or burning.
Instead of garnishing cocktails with fresh orange slice, these dried orange wheels have become a trendy alternative. They are perfect for an old-fashioned, aperol spritz, negroni or any other cocktail that may be complimented by an orange flavor.
Even though, these dried orange citrus slices are edible, you can use them for crafts too, especially around the holidays. We've seen them used as Christmas tree ornaments, wreaths, and gift decorations. They have versatile possibilities.