Sacramento Digs Gardening logo
Sacramento Digs Gardening Article
Your resource for Sacramento-area gardening news, tips and events

Articles Recipe Index Keyword Index Calendar Twitter Facebook Instagram About Us Contact Us

Make most of mixed peaches, cherries, plums in easy conserve

Recipe: Tutti frutti summer conserve is versatile condiment

Conserve on toast on plate with fruit slices
The mix of fruit and spice works on bread or with
meats. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

“Conserve” lives up to its name. This age-old technique makes the most of summer’s sweet odds and ends, creating a jammy condiment as versatile and varied as its ingredients.

Tutti frutti – or “all fruits” – combines an array of summer favorites – fresh or frozen. For this batch, I used fresh peaches, Bing cherries and frozen Italian purple plums (remaining from last year’s crop).

By tradition, conserve uses at least two kinds of fruit, cooked with sugar. A green apple provides any necessary pectin. Raisins and, if desired, nuts are added to the mixture along with orange zest and juice. The nuts provide texture to go along with the sweet-tart fruit.

If used, wine smooths out the fruit flavors and also helps meld the colors. Red wine intensifies the purple.

Some conserves are intentionally chunky and best used as a dessert topping or alongside grilled or roast meats. Ingredients in this conserve are finely chopped, allowing the fruit mixture and raisins to cook down into an almost smooth jam. That consistency also works on desserts or next to meats, but is just at home on toast, bread or crackers. Team it with brie for an easy appetizer, too.

Jar of conserve with spoon
The conserve can be frozen or water-bath
canned or frozen for later enjoyment.
Tutti frutti summer conserve

Makes about 3 half-pints (3 cups)


1 orange

3 cups mixed fruit (peaches, plums, cherries, nectarines, pluots, etc.), pitted and finely chopped

1 Granny Smith or similar apple, cored and chopped

1/2 cup water or wine

½ cup raisins, chopped

1 stick cinnamon

2 to 2-1/2 cups sugar, depending on sweetness of fruit

¼ cup finely slivered almonds (optional)


With a zester or vegetable peeler, remove zest from orange. Cut zest into thin strips. Cut strips into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.

Juice orange pulp; set aside juice.

Use at least two varieties of summer fruit, fresh or frozen. Peel peaches, but otherwise fruit can be unpeeled. Pit and finely chop fruit. Put fruit in large heavy pot. Stir in orange juice and water or wine.

Core and finely chop apple. Add to pot.

Rehydrate raisins with ½ cup boiling water. Drain and chop. Add to pot. Add cinnamon stick.

Over medium heat, bring fruit mixture to boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer until fruit is soft, about 10 minutes. Add orange zest.

Add sugar to fruit; stir to blend. Increase heat and return briefly to boil. Reduce to simmer.

Simmer uncovered, stirring often, until mixture becomes jammy and will mound on a spoon, at least 20 minutes. Add water if needed to prevent sticking and scorching. Remove cinnamon stick. Stir in almonds, if desired.

Ladle hot mixture into prepared jars and seal Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Cool.

(Conserve also may be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 1 year.)


0 comments have been posted.

Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Local News

Ad for California Local

Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

Contact Us

Send us a gardening question, a post suggestion or information about an upcoming event.