I think it was going to elementary school in Williamsburg, Virginia that started by fascination of decorating with fruit and greenery. Fresh, dried, sliced, doesn’t matter I love it all! Finding whole dried fruit is a challenge though, so I decided to try drying mine own. Surprisingly easy and incredibly thrifty (you know how I am), I’m making some for this summer and then watch out come the holidays – I’ll be unstoppable!!
Oranges, limes, lemons
Grapevine heart wreath
Faux greenery (I used ivy)
Embellishments – dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks, star anise, pine cones
Slice through the rind of the citrus fruits stopping about an inch from the ends.
Repeat around the entire fruit leaving about 8 slits.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 150 degrees for 36-48 hours. Yes, that’s right, you’re basically leaving them in a warm oven for a couple of days. The time will vary depending on the size and moisture content of your fruit. Don’t worry, you can take them out and set them aside while you cook dinner, just put them back when you’re done.
One tip is that after the first hour or two, take them out and double check to make sure all your slits have separated. If some of your cuts didn’t go all the way through the rind, just cut them a little deeper and put them back in the oven.
Once they’re dry, let them cool and start assembling your wreath.
Use floral wire to attach your greenery around the wreath.
Poke floral wire through the dried oranges, use a nail to help make a hole if necessary, and wire them to the wreath.
Once your main fruit is added, go back and fill in with a few pine cones,…
…cinnamon sticks, star anise, dried fruit slices, etc.
Store your wreath in a cool dry place and it will last years!