Monday, September 26, 2011

Drying Osage Oranges

1.   Whole
Cut the stem of the Osage orange to harvest it from the tree before it is fully ripe. Rip fruits often fall from the hedge and have bruised spots.
Wrap twine around the circumference of the hedge apple. Turn the fruit and wrap a second line of twine around a circumference perpendicular to the first. Tie a knot in the twine where the two circles of twine meet.
Hang the twine-wrapped orange from the rafters or ceiling of an attic or other warm room. In about 30 days, the Osage orange will dry completely while retaining its green color.
2.   Sliced
Cut the stem of the Osage orange to harvest it from the tree before it is fully ripe. Preheat the oven to 150 F.
Slice the Osage orange into 1/4-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a pizza screen or other perforated baking sheet. Slide the sheet onto the center rack of the preheated oven.
Turn on the convection fan if the oven has one. Crack the oven door slightly during the drying process to increase the ventilation, if the oven has no internal fan. Remove the slices to wire cooling racks when they are lightly browned and crisp.

You will find the knife to get very sticky.  It will stay FOREVER if you don't clean
often with rubbing alcohol. I use an electric knife but clean after each cut.


Sonali said...

Where can I buy osage oranges?

Heritage Garden Club said...

With all specialty fruits, they are seasonal and you should call your favorite grocery stores to check for availability.
Stores like Earthfare (Brier Creek) and Wholefoods may stock these fruits as well as the Durham Farmer's Markets. Check the stores in your neighborhood!