oh citrus tree, oh citrus tree

we’re all about any excuse to use food in fun, interesting ways… and this year, thanks to some citrus that was probably about to become inedible, we decorated our entire christmas tree for less than $10. last spring, i saw dried fruit slices hanging in a window of one of my favorite shops in baltimore. it looked like stained glass, so pretty! i’ve been waiting for the perfect time to try it out at home.

this was such a simple project. easy to do by yourself and probably even more fun with little ones! plus, the house smelled sooooo good while the slices were drying in the oven!


we have a six foot tree and for this project, i used:
two grapefruits
one blood orange
one orange
four lemons

i also tried limes, but poor little guys, they just didn’t like being put in the oven. every single slice turned black! whoops.


cut the fruit into as thin of slices as you can. probably about the width of a nickel or a little bit bigger. the squishier they are, the harder to cut thinly. luckily we’d had our lemons and oranges for longer than i’d like to admit so they were nearly rock hard and pretty easy to get tiny slices out of. the thinner they are, the quicker they dry!

spread them out on cookie sheets and bake in the oven at 170 for about 3 hours. at 2.5 hours, you should start peeking in every 10 or 15 minutes to make sure they aren’t turning brown. there’s a pretty thin line between when the lemons are pretty and yellow, and when they’re scattered with black burned flecks. i’m not sure where that line is in your oven, so just keep your eye on them.

when i pulled mine from the oven, about half of them were dry and the other half (the fatter pieces, like the grapefruit) were still a little wet. if that’s the case for you, just leave them out on the counter overnight and they should be dry in the morning!


now just pop your ornament hooks through and voila!


looks like i need to do a little more present wrapping. those two are pretty lonely looking.


excited to add a new letter to the tree next year : )


okay for this wild looking citrus star, i just used a hot glue gun and went to town. then i used some baker’s twine to tie it to the top of the tree. i love the way it looks… and smells!

this dried citrus project would also be great for wreaths or garland. or to hang vertically in your kitchen window, like i saw in that cute shop in baltimore.

let me know if you try it out, i’d love to see what you do with your orange slices : )



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he's a culinary institute of america grad in medical school. she's a journalist, who prior to their meeting, used the oven solely for storage.

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