Drying Citrus Fruits
This was my first attempt at drying citrus fruits and I really enjoyed the results. They can be used in cooking, teas and pout pourri. In my case I took on the project to make decorations for the holidays. I absolutely love how my ornaments turned out and will probably keep them up for the whole season. The textures and colours are so pleasing and bring me a bit of joy everyday. I did some research online and found many different ways of doing this but then went ahead and did it my own way. My goal was to make the process as simple as possible.
So I thinly sliced a few lemons, oranges, and grapefruit. The grapefruit is definitely the trickiest one to slice and will take the longest to dry. I set the oven to 200 F and placed the sliced fruit straight on the oven racks. The full drying process took about 3 to 4 hours. I checked every half an hour or so and removed the pieces that were dry. I felt with my fingers for any stickiness which means a little more drying is needed. The lemons will dry much faster. I had some of the lemon slices burn a little because of that but I still like them and have used the burnt pieces in my decorations.
Warning! Please do keep an eye on them. As the slices dry they shrink and may fall through the rack and land on your oven element. Fire hazard! You could also add a baking sheet underneath to catch anything that falls.
Dry citrus keeps really well and will continue drying and changing colours overtime. You can save your ornaments for the following years. If you plan on using them in cooking, teas and/or pout pourri keep in mind that they will lose their aromatic properties in about 6 months to a year depending on how they are kept.