Drying Fruit During Summer for Winter
During the spring and summer months when citrus fruit is plentiful, it is a perfect time to dry them ready for creating festive garlands, wreaths and floral displays for the Christmas period. Not only do they offer fragrance, but add colour, texture and interest to your creations especially at a time when designs are expected to last throughout the extended seasonal period.
Against an abundance of traditional Christmas foliage, citrus fruits, combined with cones and Cinnamon evoke the magic of Christmases past, extending the shelf life of your arrangements and adding warmth and festive cheer to the decor.
Suitable fruits for drying include Apples, Pears, Cranberries, Starfruits, Grapefruit, Mandarins, Oranges, Pineapples and Limes
- Slice fruit into 1cm slices, leaving the skin/peel on. Dry any excess moisture with kitchen roll
- If using whole fruits, make 8 even slits into the skin, but not too deep from one end to the other leaving a space at either end to stop the peel from falling apart when dried
- If drying apples, soak them in a lemon and salt solution for approx 20 mns, before drying them and continuing with the same method as for orange slices. Apples will take longer to dry than the orange slices, so expect them to be in the oven for 4 - 5 hours
- Preheat oven to 110C
- Lay fruit on a baking tray covered in baking paper
- The fruit slices will be sticky, but alleviate this by turning them every hour.
- Fruit slices will take approx 2 - 4 hours to dehydrate fully, and whole fruits up to 8 hours
Traditionally oranges were thought to fight off infection, and considered to attract good fortune and protection.
Although this method is very time consuming, it is cost effective!
- If the fruits are not dehydrated sufficiently, mould can form whilst in storage
- They will continue to air dry when placed in a design, especially if suspended
- If displaying the dried fruit outside or in a humid environment, they will absorb moisture and become soggy
- Dried fruit make perfect eco-friendly present trimmings
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