When I was growing up, I had a friend who’s house smelled amazing. It was like cinnamon and apples, but also sort of smoky and woodsy. Looking back, I’m pretty sure it was a Glade Plugin or something, but at the time I thought her mom was a homemaking genius.
I am not a homemaking genius. Oftentimes, I open the door and walk into the kitchen after a long day of work, only to realize that I have left wet coffee grinds languishing in the sink for the past 12 hours. Gross. That smell. It’s terrible, and it lingers.
I used to light a scented candle (These days Glade Plugins tend to put me on olfactory overload) but recently I’ve started making these homemade dried citrus wheels.
Look at me, getting all crafty!
But baby steps. This is like the easiest craft project ever. Basically you just slice a bunch of lemons, limes, and oranges into thin wheels and bake them at a very low temperature for several hours until they are dry to the touch.
You can pretty much forget about them while they are in the oven. Except you won’t because your house will smell incredible. And when they are done, there are a bunch of different ways to use them. Here are some of my favorites:
- Make citrus salt. Grind them to a powder in a spice grinder and mix with kosher salt.
- Make citrus sugar. Same as above, mix with sugar.
- Make potpourri. Tie the citrus wheels in a pretty satchel with some cinnamon sticks and star anise. Stash in your sock drawer or in the bathroom.
- Edible decorations. Use the citrus wheels to decorate cakes and cupcakes.
- Add chocolate. Dip them in chocolate and sprinkle with flaky sea salt or chopped nuts.
Be creative! You really can’t go wrong.
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- 1 orange
- Preheat the oven to 200°F. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet.
- Using a serrated knife, thinly slice the fruit crosswise into thin wheels. Arrange the fruit in a single layer on the wire rack. Bake until dry to the touch, 2-3 hours for the lemon and lime slices, and up to 4 1/2 hours for the oranges. Cool, then store in an airtight container at room temperature.