The festive smell of the coming New Year, according to tradition, is the smell of citrus fruits. But they, like all fresh fruits, are prone to rotting. To create and maintain a holiday mood for a long time, they can be dried. Dried orange or lemon slices are not only a storehouse of vitamins, but also an excellent material for creativity.
Pick out medium-sized oranges and lemons from the store. It's great if the peel on the fruit is thin - after drying it will look neat. Examine them for rot, broken or frostbitten sides. At home, rinse citrus fruits thoroughly under running water, dry with a napkin.
Cut the oranges into slices at least five millimeters thick. But don't go overboard with the thickness. Oranges over a centimeter will take a long time to dry.
There are several ways to dry citrus fruits. Everyone uses the one that is more convenient for him.
The first method is to dry the oranges in the oven. This method can quickly dry fruits, but you need to constantly monitor the process. The method consists in placing oranges, lemons or grapefruits cut into slices on parchment paper laid on a baking sheet. Putting directly on a baking sheet is not recommended, because the fruit can firmly stick to it. All this is put in the oven for three hours at 200º. Remember to turn the fruit over all the time, otherwise it will dry unevenly. The disadvantages of this method are constant surveillance of the oven and bent fruit slices. Due to the evaporation of water, citrus "leads". This will get in the way if you want to use oranges to decorate postcards, boxes, jewelry. If you want to add them to tea, their appearance will not affect the taste in any way.
The second method is longer. For this method, the sliced fruit is placed between two cartons and secured with clothespins. We carefully push the blanks between the batteries and “forget” them for 2-3 days. Drying time depends on how thinly you cut the oranges. The advantage of this method is that you do not need to constantly monitor the oranges and turn the pieces over. Drying in this way leaves the fruit flat, beautiful and vibrant.
After drying, you need to carefully remove the fruit from the parchment or cardboard. Gently pry off adhered slices with the tip of a knife to release them. Remember that dried citrus fruit wedges are brittle and brittle. Store them in a dry place in a paper bag.
Dried oranges and lemons are often used in New Year's compositions along with spruce branches, rowan berries, or cinnamon. Citrus slices can be seen as Christmas tree decorations or as decorations on postcards, gift bags, bottles. They are added to tea, strong drinks, soaps and handmade candles. They are used to decorate Christmas wreaths and bouquets. They are also great for scaring cats and midges away from your favorite indoor flowers.