You've seen them garnishing cocktails, probably strung into a garland during the holidays, and now all over gorgeous cheese and charcuterie boards. We're talking about those jewel-toned dried oranges, lemons, and any other citrus. They're supremely easy to make at home. You don't even need a whole separate dehydrator to make them.
Dried Oranges vs Candied Oranges
A quick note about the difference between Dried Oranges vs candied oranges.
Dried Oranges are super thinly sliced and actually dehydrated. They have no other flavoring, seasoning, or sweetener. They are completely edible, though they are used more as garnish and visuals rather than eating as they are somewhat bitter with the whole peel and pith included. Not surprisingly, I love the bitterness and snack on them straight up when I see them.
Candied oranges, on the other hand, are somewhat thicker, are simmered in sugar syrup, then lightly "dried" to keep them from getting too sticky. Candied oranges are, as you'd guess, sweet and snackable and are great as an accompaniment on a cheese and charcuterie board. I have a recipe for Candied Oranges as well here.
What You Need to Make Dried Oranges
The only thing you need is literally one ingredient:
- oranges or any other citrus
Um, yup, that's it.
You do, however, need a couple of tools, though you already have them all in your kitchen.
How to Make Dried Oranges
- Slice oranges cross-wise/horizontally into ⅛-inch wide slices
- Lay in a single layer on parchment lined baking sheet
- Bake in oven at the lowest temp it will go for 5-6 hours
Tools and Equipment
- favorite all-purpose 7-inch chef's knife (expensive but worth it!)
- Fit Fruit & Vegetable Wash
- sturdy all-purpose baking sheet
- racks for baking sheets
- unbleached parchment paper
Ingredients Notes and Cooking Tips
Types of Citrus. Any citrus can be dehydrated, as long as the slices are super thin and patted dry before put into the oven. The one exception here for me is pomelo, which look like swollen grapefruit with greenish skins. Pomelo almost always have disproportionately more white pith than other citrus, which makes them very bitter. I get organic citrus from the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Wednesdays, or any grocery store that carries organic citrus.
How to Use Dried Oranges and Citrus
- on any cheese or charcuterie board!
- garnish cocktails that include citrus juice like a Gold Rush (lemon)
- strung together on twine to make a Holiday garland for your tree or fireplace mantle
- simmer with dried herbs and spices on the stove as a natural room fragrance aka "simmer pot"
Dried Oranges and Citrus Recipe
- 2-3 oranges like regular oranges, mandarins, cara cara (pink), or blood oranges, which are pictured above
- 1 pink, red, or white grapefruit
- 1-2 Meyer or regular lemons
- 1 large lime
- Preheat the oven to 170° F (or the lowest temperature it will allow).
- Wash and scrub citrus, using a produce wash like Fit Fruit & Vegetable Wash if you have it.
- Slice the citrus into round "sunshines" that are ⅛-inch thick. Lay the citrus rounds on a paper towel, and gently press with another paper towel to soak up as much surface moisture as possible, but do not crush.
- If you have wire racks for baking sheets, place the citrus rounds on the racks in a single layer. If you don't have racks, line the baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the citrus rounds on the baking sheets in a single layer. The citrus can touch, but do not let them overlap.
- Place as many baking sheets as will fit on your racks in the oven. Dry the citrus rounds in the oven until they are dry and brittle to the touch, about 5-6 hours, flipping every 1½-2 hours.
- Remove the baking sheets from the oven and remove the dehydrated citrus to a wire rack to cool and dry further. Once cool, store in an airtight container. A re-sealable plastic bag works if you make sure to store it in an area where it won't get crushed.
- Technically, you can keep dehydrated citrus for months (even years!) as long as they are completely Mojave desert dry. If you are unsure about how dry your citrus rounds are, put the sealed containers in the refrigerator or freezer.