You can take your seats and relax because this is probably the easiest and most effective Christmas decoration in existence. Unless you count setting out a box of After Eight dinner mints Christmas decorating. Which I do. So, let me rephrase … this is probably the second easiest and most effective Christmas decoration in existence.
Dried orange slices. Slice, bake, hang. Those are your instructions.
You might think with something so simple that the results would be mediocre. They are not. The results are spectacular.
You can hang them on a tree. set them in a bowl or tuck them into garland. The choice is yours because dried orange slices are incredibly accommodating. They’ll give you no trouble at all.
There are really only three things you need to remember.
How to make dried orange slices.
- Cut orange slices to around 1/4″ thick.
- Set them on wire cookie racks, not a metal cookie sheet (because they can stick and don’t dry as evenly)
- Bake them at the lowest temperature your oven goes to for 4-6 hours or until no stickiness remains.
For me that was 150F.
TIP – I bought most of my oranges from the reduced produce section. They were bruised and weird. And they all turned out perfectly.
Let them dry until when you touch them they don’t feel sticky at all. That can take from 4-6 hours depending on how thick the slices are and how juicy the orange is.
When they’ve finished drying just remove them from the oven, call yourself Laura Ingalls and look for a place to set them.
The oranges I had on the lower rack of my oven turned out darker than the ones higher up in the oven. If I’d checked on them more often I could have removed the lower ones so they didn’t darken quite as much, but I actually like the variation in colours. You could also rotate your pans throughout the drying process.
They’re a thing of beauty. And they took 12 seconds. O.K. they took 6 hours, but the prep time was 12 seconds. You slice an orange. That’s it.
The magic happens when the tree lights come on. If you place or orange slices in the vicinity of a lightbulb they GLOW like stained glass. This isn’t some sort of Photoshop magic, this is how the dried orange slices look at night with the tree on.
These orange slices combined with the DIY tree candles has resulted in the most beautiful Christmas tree I’ve ever had.
Plus my tree will never get a cold which is an added bonus.
You could hang the oranges with ribbon or twine but I wanted the orange slices and only the orange slices to show up so I just shoved a regular tree ornament hook through them which disappears once they’re on the tree.
Technically they’re edible but after the box of After Eights you probably won’t be very hungry anyway.