When I first wrote about my dehydrator a few months back, I mentioned that I would be including a few recipes for dehydrated foods every now and again. Since that time, I’ve been doing lots of trial and error experimentation to make some tasty dehydrated treats. These Dehydrated Orange Slices are simple to make and are a wonderful garnish for desserts, cocktails and other culinary creations.
You are going to need fresh, ripe oranges for the best results in this recipe. I used blood oranges, which have a fantastic color, but any orange is going to give you good results. I recommend using organic oranges, since you will be able to eat the peels of your dried fruit, or giving conventionally grown oranges a very thorough wash before slicing them up.
The finished orange slices are thin, but the orange start in generous 1/4-inch thick slices. If you cut them too thin to begin with, the fruit will lose its shape as it dries out. Each slice is dipped in a sugar syrup before going into the dehydrator. The sugar helps to draw some of the moisture out of the fruit and gives it a hint of sweetness. The dried peel will have a hint of bitterness to it (just like fresh orange peel eaten on its own) and giving it a hint of sweetness balances it out perfectly. I personally prefer to dip them twice – once before drying and once part-way through the process – for a bit of extra sweetness.
It will take anywhere from 18 to 24 hours depending on your dehydrator and the juiciness of your fruit. You want the fruit to be very well dried, so err on the side of caution and give it a few extra hours in the dehydrator if you have any doubts. The fruit may feel very slightly warm when it comes out of the dehydrator, so allow a test piece to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before evaluating it for doneness. Once finished, the orange slices can be stored in an airtight container for weeks.
Dehydrated Orange Slices
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3-4 large oranges, pref. organic
Bring water to a simmer in a small saucepot or microwave-safe bowl and dissolve sugar. Allow syrup to cool to room temperature.
Cut oranges into 1/4-inch thick slices using a sharp knife. The slices can be slightly thicker, but should not be thinner. Remove any seeds. Dip each slice in the cooled simple syrup and place on a tray in your dehydrator.
Turn the dehydrator to 135F and allow oranges to dry for about 20-24 hours, or until fruit is not sticky. For sweeter oranges, dehydrate for 6-8 hours, then dip into the sugar syrup a second time (syrup can be refrigerated between dips).
What do you think?