Don't buy expensive dehydrated citrus slices. They're so easy to make at home. No dehydrator needed. Just slice thinly and dry in your oven at a low heat for several hours. Make a healthy snack out of them, or use in many other interesting ways. What a beautiful and very easy gift for friends, neighbours, teachers - anyone, really!
4orangesIdeally navel oranges, or another seedless or low seed variety
Preheat the oven to 80C/175F. Line 3 large baking trays with baking paper.
With a small serrated knife, slice the oranges into thin slices 2 to 4mm thick. Blot with kitchen paper to get rid of any excess juice.
Arrange the slices on the baking trays. Make sure they aren't overlapping.
Bake for 3.5 to 5.5 hours until completely dry. Turn over every 1 to 1.5 hours for even drying. The exact drying time will depend on the thickness of the slices. Some may be done before others.
Let cool completely. Store in small airtight jars for up to 2 years. Add a ribbon and gift tag with ideas for use if giving as a gift. Alternatively, dip into chocolate and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Slicing the oranges: Slice the oranges as thinly as you can (2 to 4mm). Any thicker and they'll take much longer to dry (too long!). I find the best approach is to slice quickly and confidently with a small sharp serrated knife. If any slices are too thick or not whole slices, just discard (or try slicing the thick ones in half). If you have a mandolin, that can work well too. Some higher end food processors also have a slicing attachment. Why use baking paper? Baking paper avoids making a mess of your oven. It also stops the oranges sticking to the baking trays. You can use a reusable silicon baking mat instead if you prefer. Dipping in chocolate: If you'd like to dip some of the oranges in chocolate (because why not?) I'd suggest 100 grams or 3.5 ounces of dark (50 - 85% cocoa) chocolate. Simply melt in a small bowl or jug in the microwave in 30-second bursts, dip half of the orange segment in and then let dry on baking paper or a wire rack. Sprinkle on a little sea salt before the chocolate is dry if you like.Ways to use: healthy snacking, giving as a gift, decorating cakes, garnishing drinks (hot and cold) and/or share plates, cheese/charcuterie boards etc., making pot pourri with cinnamon sticks and star anise, flavouring soups/stews/oatmeal/granola/smoothies, stringing into garlands for Xmas trees and table decorations, tying onto gift tags.Storing: If you've dried the slices thoroughly, they can last for up to 2 years if stored in an airtight container.