My dad had a penchant for infomercials. We had miracle mops that you never had to touch with your hands, all of our silver was pristine, and he could wax our cars to a mirror-like shine. Then came the big guns- the Ronco dehydrator with extra trays for maximum output. Our small kitchen became a virtual beef jerky factory. The scent of liquid smoke and hickory lay heavy in the air. It wasn’t a bad thing, just a tad overwhelming.
A Ronco dehydrator is one apparatus you will not find in my kitchen, so when I had an itch to craft a natural element for this holiday season, I had to find an alternative method. It turns out, as one might expect, an oven, a cooling rack and a sheet pan can do the same trick.
The key ingredient is time- about 6-12 hours, so pop those slices in the oven before bed, and you’ll awake to a refreshing citrus scent in the morning. The landscape will be a winter wonderland, birds will somehow be singing, the kitchen will sparkle, and peace treaties will teeter on the horizon. It’s amazing what a warm oven and a little citrus on a winter morning can do!
Then, start crafting!
My main motivation for these organic ornaments was the purchase of “Fronds Ferdinand,” our new Norfolk Pine, but I’ll also be sharing some other ideas for dried citrus, so stay tuned and good luck with holiday stresses.
How To Dry Citrus Slices in the Oven
Adapted from LiveStrong.com
Set oven to the “Warm” setting.
Slice the oranges, lemons and limes crosswise with a sharp knife to approximately 1/4-inch thickness.
Blot citrus 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 citrus slices on top of the rack. Avoid overlap.
Set the baking sheet in the oven. Use a wooden spoon to wedge the door open, so the air can circulate and moisture can escape the oven.
Dry the citrus 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 citrus in a sealed plastic bag until you are ready to use them.