It couldn’t be easier to dry and Use Oranges in your Christmas Decorating. Dried Orange slices introduce a wonderfully rustic charm to Christmas Decorations. An old school but charming way to add splashes of colour to any Christmas arrangement. Here are 4 easy ways to dry Orange slices…
The Frugal way to decorate!
Frugal and very Victorian! Its up there with strings of Popcorn! Using Oranges in your Christmas decorating is a budget friendly way to add cheer and scent to your Christmas tree and arrangements.
Oranges have long been associated with the festive season in the UK, they have a rich and varied History, whether they were used for dressing a tree or found in a Childs Christmas stocking, the humble yet exotic fruit is here to stay!
The History of Oranges at Christmas time
Way, Way, Way Back in the day! Were talking the 14th-18th Century, Oranges were a sign of wealth and prestige. Oranges were a rarity, a delicacy even, there was no cooled transport options back then, which meant the import of Oranges were often unsuccessful.
The fruit would tend to spoil and go bad before it reached British shores. Which of course meant any surviving Oranges would often be sold at a premium. It was pure luxury to taste an Orange and an even greater honour to receive one as a gift!
As the centuries passed and times changed and import options greatly improved, the Orange became less of a rarity and more affordable to the masses. While some poorer families could not afford to buy Oranges throughout the year, it soon became a traditional delicious treat in the bottom of a child’s stocking on Christmas Day.
Skip forward a few more years and the Once exotic Orange has now been replaced completely with selection boxes and Candy Canes.
But I don’t want to give up on Oranges yet! While my Children don’t unwrap an Orange on Christmas Day, they do hang them on our Christmas tree and I incorporate them in Wreaths and Garlands.
Some traditions deserve a permanent place in festive Celebrations, the Humble Orange will always remain in mine.
4 ways to dry Orange Slices
The Air-dry Method requires the least hands on time and minimal tool requirements. Simply slice your Oranges thinly, thread some twine through the Orange slices and hang to dry. Hang in a cool, dry environment for 1-2 weeks until completely dried out. It is the same principal as drying flowers, it takes a little time, but the reward is worth it, plus its pretty fuss free, just string them up and leave them to it.
Oven Drying is probably the most popular way to Dry Oranges for Christmas. This Method is not only good for Orange Slices but for whole Oranges too.
For Orange Slices– Place the slices on a wire rack or lined Baking tray, set the Oven to its lowest setting, about 65 degrees. Bake for 4 hours. They will at first feel tacky when you remove them from the oven, that’s ok, just let them cool on a wire rack and decorate as planned. They will continue to gently dry out as the festive season continues.
For Whole Oranges- Drying time is really dependant on the size of the Orange, obviously the bigger the Orange the longer it will take. So, I tend to favour the smaller varieties. Varieties such as Clementine’s, Mandarins and Tangerines are a perfect compact size for the Oven Method. Here’s How I do it…
- Again Preheat the Oven to the Lowest Setting (this is important, don’t be tempted to increase the heat for quicker drying, drying fruits requires a slow, low heat setting)
- With a sharp knife Cut 6-8 slits, 1/4 inch deep all around each Orange
- Place the Oranges on a lined Baking tray, don’t let the Oranges touch each other, you don’t want them sticking together
- Place in the Oven for around 10-12 hours- This drying time is based on the small varieties mentioned above, for the large Varieties it can take as long as 16 hours
Tip– Check on the Oranges every 4 hours, turn them if necessary for even drying
For the best results use the dehydrator setting, simply place Orange slices in the drawer (its ok if they overlap) then leave it on for roughly 4 hours.
This is my favourite method. The tiered structure of my Dehydrator makes drying Orange slices a breeze! I simply leave it on the lowest setting and get on with my day, it takes roughly 8 hours.
How To Decorate with Oranges at Christmas
Above I have included some images of how I use Oranges in My Christmas decorating. They are so adaptable, the possibilities are endless!
Thread them on to Christmas Present Tags for a splash of rustic colour
Attach them to ribbon and wrap them around a Napkin- a unique and beautiful napkin holder!
Tie them to Cinnamon sticks and hang them on your tree
Scatter on your Christmas Table
Attach to Garlands and Wreaths
In A Christmas Crafting Mood?
Take a look at these easy festive Projects
Did you Use any of these methods? If so, please leave a comment below and let me know how you got on. Did you take a picture? Great! Tag me on Instagram, I love to share your creations on my stories