Orchard spread

    55 min

    Use this rich, slightly tart, lightly spiced purée of fresh and dried fruit to replace butter on warm morning toast or muffins. The recipe makes far more than 4 people can enjoy at one breakfast, but the spread keeps well in the fridge. Also try it with grated Cheddar cheese in a sandwich, or instead of pickle or chutney in a ploughman's lunch.

    2 people made this

    Serves: 22 

    • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) cooking apples, such as Bramley's, peeled, cored and chopped
    • 250 g (8½ oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots
    • 250 g (8½ oz) ready-to-eat dried soft figs
    • 360 ml (12 fl oz) apple juice
    • ½ tsp ground mixed spice
    • 1½ tsp lemon juice, or to taste (optional)

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:55min 

    1. Place the apples, pears, peaches, apple juice, ground mixed spice and 120 ml (4 fl oz) water into a heavy-based saucepan. Set the pan over a high heat and bring the fruit mixture to the boil, stirring occasionally.
    2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the mixture is reduced to a pulp and no liquid is visible on the surface. Stir frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
    3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly. Then taste and stir in the lemon juice if the mixture is too sweet.
    4. Transfer the fruit mixture to a food processor or blender and process to a thick purée.
    5. Leave to cool completely before serving. The spread can be kept, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

    Each serving provides

    Useful source of vitamin C.

    Some more ideas

    Make a spiced prune spread by replacing the dried pears and peaches with 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) prunes and using orange juice instead of apple juice. Omit the mixed spice and instead add the seeds from 3 crushed green cardamom pods. * For a vanilla peach spread, replace the dried pears with additional dried peaches and use orange juice instead of apple juice. Omit the mixed spice and include a vanilla pod in the mixture while it simmers. * Other combinations to try include apples and dried cranberries flavoured with finely grated orange zest, and apples and prunes flavoured with ground ginger and very finely diced pieces of stem ginger.

    Plus points

    Apples are a good source of soluble fibre (pectin), and they provide vitamin C. * Dried peaches are a good source of potassium. They also provide useful amounts of iron, carotenes and the B vitamin niacin. * Both dried peaches and dried pears are good sources of fibre. * The sweetness of fresh fruit is concentrated in their dried forms, so spreads such as this need no additional sugar to make them as sweet as commercial jams and preserves. Ordinary jam can have about 70 per cent sugar, which weight for weight is double the amount of sugar in this spread. breakfast Orchard spread.

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    Reviews in English (1)


    Looks and tastes fine. We're not diabetic so added a tablespoon of honey. Would be easy to vary dried fruit and spices to get differing results.  -  02 Oct 2008