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Drying oranges for Christmas decorations

(36 Posts)
5Foot5 Tue 30-Oct-12 13:00:19

At the weekend I was visiting a stately home and in the shop they had some lovely Christmas decorations. There was one garland that looked and smelt beautiful and consisted of dried oranges - some slices and some whole oranges with slits cut down the side - cinammon sticks and bay leaves. Now it occurred to me it might be fun to try to make one myself but I am not sure about the drying process.

If I dry the fruit in the oven has anyone any idea what temperature to use and how long for? I tried googling and got answers varing from 3 to 45 hours!
Also does anyone know if this will work so well with the whole oranges? And how long would they last - is this just a one season decoration?

Thanks

pierpressure Tue 30-Oct-12 13:01:18

Marking Place for info!

flyoverthegoldenhill Tue 30-Oct-12 13:09:36

I've no idea about whole oranges, but I put slices of orange and apple on greaseproof paper and left them on top of the radiators. I left some of the slices from last year in a little glass bowl and they still look pretty.

craftynclothy Tue 30-Oct-12 21:11:01

I think I just put my oven on the lowest setting and they took a few hours - have to keep checking them and I found they worked one a wire rack/direct on the shelf than on a tray as the air circulates. Haven't tried whole oranges.

My sewing teacher sometimes does them in a paper bag with some powder that dries things out but I can never remember what it's called hmm

craftynclothy Tue 30-Oct-12 21:11:14

Meant to add mine have lasted 2 years

flyoverthegoldenhill Tue 30-Oct-12 21:50:06

crafty Orris root

Ghouljamaflip Tue 30-Oct-12 21:56:26

our local stately home decorates their place with oranges studded with cloves - smell wonderful and look really good - their volunteers make them fresh each year and some of the designs get really intricate.

Last time I tried drying oranges and limes in the oven they turned out a uniform brown sludge colour sad

hhhhhhh Tue 30-Oct-12 21:58:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sulfur Tue 30-Oct-12 21:58:26

I did this about 20 years ago.

The idea is to dry the oranges rather than cook them. A Low heat for 12 - 24 hours should be fine.

flyoverthegoldenhill Tue 30-Oct-12 22:11:33

Well I've got a dried out satsuma (just left it in the fruit bowl) I'll stick some cloves in it tomorrow smile

AtLongLast Tue 30-Oct-12 22:52:16

Haven't tried it (yet!) but noticed it's a project in a book I have from the library. It says to make oranges slices 5mm wide, blot with towels to remove excess moisture to speed up drying process. Then place on baking tray & put in oven at lowest setting for 4 hours.... or until completely dry..

The instructions for clove-studded orange don't include any drying so I guess that's for 1 year only.

Ghouljamaflip Tue 30-Oct-12 22:54:30

Actually the property I mentioned that does the cloves thing has one on display which is allegedly over 50 years old shock. It is rather grey and wrinkly.....grin

MrsRhettButler Tue 30-Oct-12 23:18:38

Marking place too

MrsRhettButler Tue 30-Oct-12 23:20:36

So those oranges stuffed with cloves... Do they not go mouldy? And do they make your house smell nice?

Wingedharpy Tue 30-Oct-12 23:51:32

craftynclothy - the powder stuff is silica gel (like the sachets you find in new handbags, shoes, medication boxes etc.)
It can be re-used if you dry it out in the microwave after use apparently.
I have never used it.

EverythingInMjiniature Tue 30-Oct-12 23:58:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

louisianablue2000 Wed 31-Oct-12 00:13:37

If you use orris root the oranges studded with cloves (pomanders) shouldn't go mouldy. If you don't bother with the orris root then they sometimes go mouldy after about a month and sometimes dry properly. I make a pomander with the kids every year for Christmas, last years is now in a bag in my underwear drawer smelling gorgeous still.

FloresCircumdati Wed 31-Oct-12 00:19:42

I've made orange slice decorations by drying in a low oven for about 2-3 hours and then covering and leaving for a couple of days in powdered orris root.

FloresCircumdati Wed 31-Oct-12 00:21:14

I tried the oranges studded with cloves - smells wonderful. didn't use orris root, and mine did go mouldy after a few weeks.

MrsRhettButler Wed 31-Oct-12 09:57:02

What do you actually do with the orris root if you're making the whole ones withh cloves?

flyoverthegoldenhill Wed 31-Oct-12 11:34:49

MrsRhett I'd put it in a paper bag and give it the odd shake (can't remember how long for)

nextphase Wed 31-Oct-12 11:43:35

About 20 years ago, I remember studding an orange with cloves, and then putting it in the aring cupboard for a few weeks / months to get it to dry out. Seem to remember it worked quite well (to my 10 year old mind).
Fairly sure the spices will need to go in before drying, not after!

5Foot5 Wed 31-Oct-12 13:36:34

Thank you for all the replies?

So is the orris root instead of putting it in the oven or as well as?
What sort of shop would sell it?

MissPricklePants Wed 31-Oct-12 13:40:50

I made pomaders yesterday, they smell fantastic. Also drying fruit out tomorrow to make a wreath and a garland, should look v nice and festive!

RonettePulaski Wed 31-Oct-12 14:10:39

So how do you make pomanders?

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