• Crisp like a cracker. (Camellia Aebischer)Source: Camellia Aebischer
These cocktail bar-staples are great for decorating your summer drinks, Christmas tree, or table setting.
Camellia Ling Aebischer

19 Nov 2020 - 2:43 PM  UPDATED 19 Nov 2020 - 3:37 PM

Dried citrus slices have made an in vogue appearance these past few years, but the popular cocktail garnishes come at a premium. They can be used as Christmas tree ornaments, healthy snacks (though they don’t taste that good without a little sugar added), cheeseboard décor, or scattered around a tabletop centrepiece, and the best part is you don’t need a dehydrator to make them.

Many recipes online call for oven-baking at a low temperature for around 3 hours. This might not dry them out enough and you risk burning/browning them. You want them really dry to keep them properly and avoid mould.

To guarantee this and to also avoid heating your house up for three hours during the summer, I turned my oven to its lowest setting to mimic the dehydrator temperature and popped them in overnight. It worked out great and the slices came out nice and crisp.

To make life easier you want to slice the fruit super thin, around 2mm if you can manage it. A mandolin will help but a bit of patience and a sharp knife will do just fine.

I skipped the 'what you'll need' photo of just an orange for a more helpful reference: this is what one orange looks like dried.

How to make dehydrated citrus slices

Take an orange, lemon, grapefruit, lime, or citrus of choice and slice it very very thinly.

Line your oven rack with a sheet of baking paper or a reusable silicone mat, ready for the slices.

Pat each slice dry with a clean towel or paper towel then lay them down on the baking paper/mat in one single layer, ensuring no overlaps.

Place them in the middle of the oven and turn it on to 50°C. I didn’t use fan-forced here so would recommend against it or it may end up a bit too hot.

Leave overnight, around 8-10 hours. In the morning, check on the slices, they should be bone dry. If there’s moisture you may need to flip them and leave for an additional 2-4 hours (I had to do this because of the silicone mat but baking paper will help them dry evenly first go).

Thread them onto a ribbon for natural Christmas tree ornaments.

Store in a good air-tight jar to avoid them softening.

For reference, 1 medium-sized orange made one single-layered tray in my very standard oven.

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