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Nov 12, 2009 07:15 AM

Drying Orange and Lemon Peel

I have a list of ingredients for mulling spices that includes dried lemon and orange peel. Do I need a dehydrator to dry these peels, or can I dry them in the oven or some other way? Thanks!

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  1. You can dry them in an oven, but on very, very low or you will drive out the oils. Better to buy thin skinned oranges, peel, cut in small pieces then dry on a rack with a fan on it - although depending on humidity a fan may not be necessary. If the pith comes off easy then that will do.

    You can also dry peel in a fridge. Takes longer.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Paulustrious

      I have a curing book and they recommend drying meat and vegetables at 90F or 32C. My oven does not go that low so they recommend propping the door open with a wooden spoon.

      You could also try Lemon Confit. It will take you a month to dry out the lemon but it is apparently a really wonderful way to preserve citrus. I have 4 Lemons on the go now to try it out. Get a large non reactive jar or container and cover the bottom in salt. Place the halved lemons or oranges in the salt and cover completely in salt. In 1-3 months the lemons will be dried. Scrape out the pulp and pith. The taste is found in the rind and it is supposed to be wonderful.

      1. I know you may be making this for a gift, but if not, the fresh citrus are an awful lot nicer in mulled wine and cider.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jen kalb

          I totally agree with you about the fresh citrus, Jen, but it was my intention to "put up" a quart or so of these spices, and use them as needed. I thought the dried peels would be a nice addition.

        2. You can just air-dry them on a rack in your kitchen, unless you live in the tropics.

          1. Just by accident - I was trying out a new peeler yesterday - I peeled some strips of orange rind and left them on the counter overnight. They were just about completely dry by morning. Actually, I'd recommend using a peeler so that you get just the flavourful part, without the bitter inner pith.