Its cold, no? I love getting home after work to a warm house and something that adds even more warmth and welcome for me is the smell of Christmas, so I’ve tried to recreate it with some fruit and spice for a wreath that will keep the house smelling of the season – this is part 1: Drying the fruit.
What I Used:
Oranges / Satsumas
Oranges, satsumas, lemons, limes, grapefruits and apples:
The key thing you need is a sharp knife. Last year, this is where it all fell apart for me and I had hacked slices, rather than nice, clean ones – so I’ve learnt my lesson and I’ve also cut everything to a thickness of around 1/2cm to try and prevent any tearing / breaking later down the line.
I cut slices from a bag of oranges [4 in total] and a large bag of apples , 1 lemon and 1 lime and lastly, 1 white grapefruit and 1 pink grapefruit:
To add a little variation, I also used satsumas [4 in total], which I have cut in to at quarters, but not completely all the way through, so that the fruit still holds in shape. Start your cut around 1 cm from the top, cut through the fruit and finish your cut around 1 cm from the bottom.
I then did the same to 1 lime and 1 lemon:
Once cut, blot each slice with kitchen paper to help dry them out and lay flat on a tray lined with baking paper to help stop the fruit sticking when drying.
To some of the orange slices, I added a light sprinkle of ground cinnamon:
Next, I decided to pop my slices and start the drying process off a little quicker into the oven at a low heat. The length of time you need in the oven will depend on the oven you have and how dry you blot your slices to be before baking. I baked my fruit at 90 degrees C and kept them in the oven for 4 hours. Turn your slices half way through or each time you check on them. Once they looked and felt dry and spongey, I took them out to move to the airing cupboard. By this point, they will smell AMAZING.
[Popping your fruit straight in to the airing cupboard or on top of the radiator for the week after slicing and blotting will work just as well, but take a little longer than helping the process along in the oven].
I can’t wait to get started. Are you doing the same? I’d love to see them.
And of course, these are not just for Christmas, these are hopefully going to be hanging around the house until they need replacing [which judging by last years slices, will be well in to a year].
Updated: Part 2 can now be found here.