Bag of oranges
1 candle holder (used for birthday cakes) or a cocktail stick
Grease proof paper
Nice bowls to put the finished product in!
I found that a standard bag of oranges from the supermarket was enough for two bowls of potpourri.
Use a sharp knife (a serrated edge works particular well on oranges) to cut your oranges into slices – the thinner the better. Less than 1cm thickness is great although try to keep it fairly consistent as it will help with cooking times. If you are creating a batch to decorate with cloves these will need to be closer to 1cm thickness. Some slices won’t look perfect (mine were a bit wonky in places) but don’t worry it all adds to the rustic home-made feel!
Once your slices are cut lay them on a layer of kitchen roll and place another layer of kitchen roll on top. Then gently press down on your slices in their kitchen roll sandwich: this will squeeze out some of the juice which will help the slices dry out more quickly, avoiding sticky potpourri as a final product.
If you would like to decorate a batch with cloves (these will be on the thicker slices) then I found using a little cake candle holder from the last birthday we had is the easiest way to make holes in the orange rind which are the perfect size for cloves. If you don’t have one you can use a cocktail stick and place your cloves in the holes as desired.
Next lay grease proof paper on a wire oven shelf and place your orange slices on the paper ready for drying in the oven. Some recipes suggest not to use grease proof paper and just to lay the slices on a wire shelf in the oven to help the drying process – I tried this and the slices just fall through when they start to dry!
See mine don’t look perfect – this was the batch that fell through the holes:
Pop your slices – on their grease proof paper, in the oven on a low heat for around an hour as you want them to dry rather than cook. I used 80 degrees C in our fan assisted oven and keep checking on them – they may need longer depending on the thickness.
Remove your slices from the oven and leave them to cool and dry further – some slices may still feel sticky to the touch but that is fine they will dry out further in the bowl.
They should look something like this: