Monday, 19 December 2011

Dried orange slices

I had loads of oranges left over from making marmalade and neither the inclination to make up more or the jars necessary to do so. So I decided to put them to use as Christmas decorations! They are incredibly easy to do and biodegradable, unlike regular plastic ornaments.

The craft works best with older oranges, ones that have started to petrify. Slice them up as thinly as you can (3mm slices are ideal) and place the slices on a tea towel. You want to make sure your slices are as even as possible or they'll all dry at different speeds and you'll end up with some ugly burnt slices!

Place another towel over the top and pat the slices down to blot off as much excess juice off as you can...

...then place the orange slices on cooling racks and put them in the oven at a low temperature. Putting them on cooling racks instead of baking sheets allows the warm air of the oven to attack the orange from all angles.

They take a few hours to dry out and you need to remember to leave the door ajar so that water vapour can escape, otherwise the orange slices will just cook in their juices. Have a good look and a poke every so often to see how they're coming along. When they're done, they'll feel dry, although they may feel a little tacky.

Here's some of my finished ones. If you're worried about burning them, take them out of the oven, leaving them on a cooling rack and just keep them somewhere dry inside for a day or two. The atmosphere should dehydrate them further.

They look really beautiful with light shining through them:

So perhaps arrange them so they mask the bright glare of LED fairy lights?

I have also heard you can sprinkle them with cinnamon or glitter before drying, to create a scented slice or a sparkly one!


hee hee


teee hee heeee

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