Orchard spread

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.

Orchard spread


  • 500 g apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1⅓ cups (250 g) dried pears
  • 1¾ cups (245 g) dried peaches
  • 350 ml apple juice
  • ½ teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste (optional)


  1. Place the apples, pears, peaches, apple juice, mixed spice and ½ cup (125 ml) water into a heavy–based saucepan.
  2. Set the pan over a high heat and bring the fruit mixture to the boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
  3. 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.
  4. Stir frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
  6. Then taste and stir in the lemon juice if the mixture is too sweet.
  7. Transfer the fruit mixture to a food processor or blender and process to a thick purée.
  8. Leave to cool completely before serving.
  9. The spread can be kept, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Preparation: 10 minutes, plus cooling
Cooking: about 30 minutes


Fresh fruit and desserts

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