California Prune, Apple and Cherry Christmas Jam with Spiced Fruit Bread

Makes: 10Prep Time: 45 minutes plus 3 hours' proving timeCook Time: 25-30 minutes


  • For the jam:
  • 4 apples
  • 200g drained preserved cherries
  • 200g California Prunes
  • 2-3 tbsp honey
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 lime
  • For the spiced fruit bread:
  • 275g strong white flour
  • 200g plain white flour
  • 50g sugar
  • 10g dried yeast
  • 7g salt
  • 330ml milk
  • 150g dried fruit (inc California Prunes)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 75g butter, cubed


To make the jam:

  1. Peel, chop and core the apples into small pieces before adding to a medium-sized saucepan and cooking on a low heat until softened.
  2. Drain the preserved cherries and add to the pan (keep the cherry liquid as you might need it to add to the jam later).
  3. Chop and add the California Prunes to the pan along with the star anise, honey and the zest and juice of the lime.
  4. Cook the jam for 10-20 minutes until the apples are soft and have begun to break up.
  5. If the jam becomes too thick and reduced, add some of the reserved cherry liquid and stir in.
  6. Leave the jam to cool for 20 minutes, then taste carefully to make sure it is sweet or sharp enough depending on your own personal tastes. Pour the jam into a clean container and keep in the fridge.

For the spiced fruit bread: 

  1. Add both flours and the sugar into a mixing bowl and blend together using your hand.
  2. Add the salt on one side of the bowl and the yeast on the other side.
  3. Pour the milk over the salt and begin to mix together. When you have a soft ball of dough on your hand transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead for 5 minutes.
  4. Stretch out the dough and scatter over the dried fruit, spice and butter.
  5. Roll up the dough and continue to knead for a further 5 minutes until the dough is nice and smooth, all the butter, fruit and spice has been well distributed through the dough as well as it being easy to move around the work top.
  6. Place the dough back into a mixing bowl and cover. Leave to prove and double in size: it should take about 2 hours.
  7. When the dough has doubled in size, scoop it out onto a clean work surface and knead for 2-3 minutes until all the air is knocked out.
  8. Shape the dough into a 2lb loaf tin and leave to prove for another hour to again double in size.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes at 180°C until golden and hollow sounding when tapped underneath.

To serve: Cut the bread into thick slices, spread with butter and the California Prune, apple and cherry jam. Enjoy with a cup of tea.


Peter Sidwell

Peter Sidwell

California Prune Board Ambassador Peter Sidwell, is a chef, baker, TV presenter, author, and innovator of all things food related. Peter has been a chef all his working life and over the years has developed a simple, fresh and innovative way of cooking which focuses on the importance of fine ingredients and technical know-how to ensure the best results. Peter has travelled the world cooking, talking and demonstrating his approach and explaining how and why it works so well for all manner of food offerings. Peter works both with chefs, consumers, food producers and retailers to innovate, create process or refine procurement. Working from his new innovation centre in England's beautiful Lake District, Peter and his team create exciting, attractive and mouth-watering new recipes with digital content, showcasing the delicious flavour and versatility of California Prunes.