Dried sliced oranges are one of my favorite things to make for the holidays. They're beautiful on their own and great for decorations (like garlands), potpourri, or cocktail garnishes! They're also a great hostess gift and they ship well! An all-around win.
All you'll need are a few oranges, and then time to dry them in the oven. That's it!
Looking for a few other festive orange recipes? Check out this Blood Orange Old Fashioned (a great way to use these dried oranges!), and these Candied Blood Oranges with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt.
As mentioned, the only thing you'll need here are oranges!
That said, it does matter what kind of orange you use.
- Consider your space: these oranges will be sliced and spread on baking sheets. You likely only have space in your oven for two baking sheets. If you use large oranges (like navel oranges, which I don't recommend), you won't be able to fit very many on a sheet. Blood oranges, or small oranges like Tangelos or Cara Cara oranges, are ideal for drying.
- Consider your color: Do you want the oranges to be orange? Red? Other? Blood oranges are great, but if you're going for that classic orange color, pick a small orange like a Tangelo. You can also make this recipe with other citrus fruits, like lemon and lime!
There are just a few key steps and you'll have dried sliced oranges in no time!
Thoroughly wash your oranges. You're keeping the peel, so you want to make sure they're clean!
Use a mandolin (or a very sharp knife) to slice the oranges to 4-5mm. Blot with a paper towel to remove excess liquid.
Spread the slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Slices may be touching, but should not overlap.
Bake for 2-4 hours, turning every 30 minutes until thoroughly dried and crisp.
The time in the oven will vary depending on how thick your slices are. If the slices were cut by hand, some may dry faster than others. If they're completely dry, you can remove them from the baking sheet, and then continue drying the others.
How to slice the oranges
A mandoline is an excellent tool to use here. You'll get even slices and this will help control the drying time and make sure that your final, dried orange slices are uniform. You can also cut the slices with a sharp knife. There are also a few tips for oranges that are harder to cut.
If your oranges are soft (sometimes very ripe oranges have softer peels, and aren't as tight), you can put them in the freezer for about an hour to help them firm. They won't be fully frozen, but they'll be a little more firm, which should help with the cutting. This is the same concept as freezing cheese that is too soft for grating.
If the oranges are turning to mush when you slice them, try the freezing mentioned above, but you can also increase the size of the slice. Thicker slices will take longer to dry, but they will still work just as well!
Ideally, you want a thinner rather than thicker slice, but you also have to be realistic with the oranges you're working with!
The concept and recipe stays the same, but you can make a few different variations:
- Use a different type of orange: rather than blood oranges, try cara cara oranges or tangelos. Any small orange will work well here!
- Use other citrus fruits: throw in some other citrus! Dried lime or lemon slices are also beautiful and can be used in a very similar way to dried oranges.
- Add some chocolate: these slices are edible! If you want to make them more decadent, try dipping them in dark chocolate.
What to do with Dried Sliced Oranges
Blood oranges are great as a hostess gift or decoration. You can also string them together to make a decorative garland, or use them to garnish a cocktail (like this Blood Orange Old Fashioned)!
If you're not using a mandoline, you'll need a very sharp knife and a cutting board.
Once the oranges are dried, you can keep them for up to a year! Store dried sliced oranges in an airtight container or bag, and pull them out whenever you need. If you're making these for decorations (like a garland), it's very likely that you'll be able to keep that garland and use it again next year!
The only issue with storing dried sliced oranges is if they're not completely dried. If there is still any moisture in the slices, that will turn to mold.
Make these at the beginning of the holiday season and then you'll have them on hand for the next few months! They're great to give as a hostess gift, garnish up a cockail, make a decorative garland, or decorate your table.
Yes. The key here is to use small oranges (or other citrus fruits). If you use large oranges, it will still work, but you will quickly run out of space on your baking sheets for drying.
If you're slicing your oranges too thin, they will start to fall apart while slicing. Increase the size of your slice. You can also pop them in the freezer for about an hour to help the orange firm up (without completely freezing) before slicing.
They're great as a hostess gift, to garnish a cocktail, to make a garland, or to decorate a table. They're completely edible as well, so enjoy them as a treat!
If your orange slices are thicker, they will take longer to dry. Typically the drying time in the oven is 2-4 hours, but check every 30 minutes to flip them and see how they're doing! If they need more time because they were very thick slices, go for it!
Yes, the orange slices will shrink as they dry.
Dried Sliced Oranges
- 3-4 blood oranges sliced to 4-5mm
- Preheat oven to 200°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Thoroughly wash the oranges. Use a mandoline or sharp knife to cut the oranges in approximately 3-4mm slices. (See notes above if your oranges are soft).
- Carefully blot the oranges with a paper towel to remove excess liquid.
- Spread the oranges on the prepared baking sheets. The oranges may be touching, but should not be overlapping.
- Bake for 2-4 hours, turning every 30 minutes, until completely dried and crisp to the touch.
- Let cool, then store in an airtight container.