5 navel oranges, very thinly sliced into whole rounds
10-15 whole cinnamon sticks
20 cardamom pods
40 whole cloves
30 black peppercorns
20-25 star anise pods
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Arrange orange slices on wire racks. Place racks over sheet pans. Allow oranges to gently bake until fully dehydrated, flipping once halfway through, about 3-4 hours.
Allow oranges to cool completely on wire racks before dividing with remaining spices among 10 paper envelopes*. Secure with twine.
Each packet should adequately flavor approximately one quart fresh apple cider or one bottle of red wine.
*Create paper pouches using pre-made envelopes or make your own with origami paper or parchment. Tie with kitchen twine.
Mulled Apple Cider:
1 packet homemade mulling spice (see recipe)
1 quart local apple cider
Place cider in a saucepan over medium-low heat or in a crockpot on middle setting. Add mulling spices. Allow to gently simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and steep for 10-20 minutes before serving.
*Experiment with a variety of spices such as whole allspice berries, spicebush berries, candied ginger, or grated nutmeg.