Dried lemon slices provide a dash of color and flavor to cold drinks and warm teas. They also dress up a cake and make an attractive garnish for vegetables, fish and chicken dishes. Some people enjoy them just as a snack. Dried lemon slices can also be ground up in a blender and used as a flavoring for all sorts of dishes. As with all do-it-yourself dried fruits, dehydrating lemons allows consumers to take advantage of the best prices and products. Dehydrated lemons also provide cooks with a source of fresh lemon flavor, no matter what season it is.
Things You'll Need
Choose at least 4 or 5 fully ripe lemons with a vivid yellow color. Dried lemons are often used for decoration as well as flavor, and fresh fruit with a bright color and shape will also look attractive when dried.
Wash the lemons well. Growers treat lemon trees with pesticides, and some of it remains on the peel after the fruit is picked and processed. Washing the fruit will remove most traces of pesticide. Some cooks prefer organically grown lemons because they are chemical free.
Cut the lemons into 1/4-inch circular slices. Try to make each slice a uniform width so they will dry at the same rate. Remove any seeds.
Place the lemon slices flat on a dehydrator tray. If using a regular oven instead of a dehydrator, place the lemon slices flat on a cookie sheet.
Set the temperature at 125 degrees Fahrenheit and place the tray either in the dehydrator or oven. It usually takes about 24 hours for lemon slices to dry, but all ovens are a little different. Check the fruit occasionally. Fully dried lemons will have a golden brown pulp and will be hard and crisp. They should sound like poker chips when they are dropped on a counter. Store the dried lemon pieces in a sealed plastic bag or jar.
References and ResourcesThe Happy Housewife: How to Dehydrate Lemons
Dry It; Barb Moody; January, 1985: Dried Lemon Slices Offer Many Uses
Pesticide: Pesticide Use Info for Lemons