Dehydrated orange slices and other dried citrus infuse their fragrant perfumes to make a perfect garnish for your cocktail. Or use your dried orange slices for a garland or decoration for your winter table.
And, bonus, dehydrating oranges is really easy. You just need a knife, lined baking sheet, and an oven. Save tons of money on your dehydrated oranges by making your own.
This recipe for dehydrated oranges was developed for the 52 weeks of baking challenge (week 3: garnish). I initially contemplated making vermouth “caviar” after watching Drink Masters on Netflix. What fun.
All about oranges
Did you know … oranges originated in Asia as a domesticated hybrid between the pomelo and mandarin, two of the three original citrus fruits. Citrus a bit of an incestuous genus, it seems, as oranges crossed with pomelo then made grapefruit. You can read more about citrus genealogy and other crossings here.
Oranges may be available year-round, but peak season is in the winter months and early spring. Citrus fruits don’t ripen further after picking, so store your oranges in the refrigerator until dehydrating them.
Tips and tricks
Best oranges for dehydrated orange slices
Oranges come in a lot of different varieties. Seedless oranges are best for making dried orange slices, since seeds will leave large holes.
Navel oranges are a seedless varietal with thick skin and less juice, so they dry well. Or mix it up with a pink-fleshed Cara Cara navel orange or even a blood orange or two.
How to dehydrate oranges
First, rinse and dry your oranges and then cut off the ends. Slice one quarter inch rounds, trying to make them as uniform as possible so they dry evenly. I have tried my mandoline to slice oranges but find that a sharp knife works best.
Tip from the wise quacker: the most important thing in knife safety is good technique. The second most important part of knife safety is making sure your knives are sharp, because dull knives are more likely to slip. So don’t skip regular maintenance and occasional professional sharpening.
Put cut orange slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can put the slices very close to each other but do not overlap them.
Bake the orange slices in your oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. After the first hour, rotate the pans, and flip over the orange slices. Check them again every 30 to 60 minutes, rotating the pans, flipping over the slices, and checking for slices that are browning more quickly than others. Dry the orange slices until they are dry to touch, about three to four hours.
Fully dried orange slices will last for six to twelve months, depending on the heat and humidity in your house. You can prolong their shelf life by storing them in the fridge or freezer. Just check for mold before using.
How to use dehydrated orange slices
- Use orange slices as a cocktail garnish like for this spicy skinny margarita. The slice will perfume and slowly flavor your drink.
- Steep orange slices in your tea.
- Use as decorations and a natural air freshener.
Variations and substitutions
Follow these same instructions to make other dried citrus like dehydrated lime slices and dried lemons. Cut smaller fruit like lemon and limes into slightly thinner slices.
I found that the regular setting on my oven at 200 degrees worked better to make these dried orange slices than the dehydrate setting. You can, of course, use a food dehydrator if you have one.
Can you? Yes, you can eat dried oranges and the dehydrated orange peel. Will you want to? I’m not sure. Dried oranges can be bitter. Dried orange is not the same as candied orange peel or slices, which go through several water exchanges to get rid of the bitterness of the rind and pith. But eating dehydrated orange slices won’t hurt you if you want to try them.
Dehydrated Orange Slices
- 1 seedless navel orange
- 1 Cara Cara or blood orange
- Wash and dry your oranges. Slice off the ends of your oranges, then use a knife to cut ¼ inch thick slices, trying to keep the thickness as uniform as possible. Lay the slices on two parchment-lined baking sheets so the orange slices are close but not touching.1 seedless navel orange, 1 Cara Cara or blood orange
- Bake and dehydrate the slices in a 200° oven until dry to the touch, about 3 to 4 hours. After the first hour, rotate your baking sheets and flip over the slices. Check the slices every 30 to 60 minutes to make sure none are starting to brown, flipping them over and rotating the sheets once or twice more until the slices are dry to the touch.
If you make these dehydrated orange slices, please leave a comment and rating. Pretty please.
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