Dried Citrus for the Holidays
Drying citrus for decorating or eating, is an easy and wonderful way to add beautiful color to your holiday decor. You can add citrus slices to greenery like wreaths and garlands, or serve with your cheese and charcuterie board. You can even have a fun family craft night in front of the fireplace while making a string of citrus for your holiday tree! A few simple steps and you are ready to go, however you choose to use them.
1 - Start the Heat
Set the oven at 170 -200 degrees or use a dehydrator. The dehydrator requires a bit more time, but less watching and moving. If you’re in a pinch for time, the oven is a better choice - plus it makes the house smell so good!
2 - Gather your Citrus:
It’s fun to do a mixture with different types of citrus - Navel oranges, blood oranges, Cara Cara (they have a beautiful pink color inside), tangelos, Meyer lemons - or any other citrus you’d like to use. The variety of sizes will look great.
3 - Chop Away:
Using a sharp knife - thinly slice the citrus - 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Try to keep them consistent in thickness so they dry evenly. Gently lay them between two towel layers and press to absorb some of the juice released when slicing. This will allow for more even drying when you pop them in the oven. It's a good idea to remove the seeds as well before heating.
4 - Bake or Dry:
Bake: If you’re using the oven, line your sheet pans with parchment paper and layer the citrus down, trying not to overlap and leaving a bit of space between each slice. Place in oven. When citrus slices look about halfway through baking, move them onto a drying rack. Then place back on top of the cookie sheet & parchment before putting back in the oven, to catch any drippings. When they are dried to your liking, remove from oven and let cool completely.
Dry: In you’re using the dehydrator - layer the citrus on the trays, leaving a bit of space between each slice. Close dehydrator and set to the desired temperature. 145 is recommended but you can turn to the highest temperature on your dehydrator (usually 165) if you’d like. They will be done in 3-5 hours depending on thickness and temperature. Let cool.
5 - Decorate:
Making these together with family is a fun and simple idea that is easy to make into an annual holiday tradition. Add them to a centerpiece for the table, create a unique ornament, or embellish your gift wrapping with a natural touch. The possibilities are endless and you can enjoy your handiwork with a glass of any of our Duckhorn, Paraduxx, Goldeneye, Migration, Decoy, Canvasback or Calera wines when you are done! Shop our online wine store to find your favorite.