Friday, September 13, 2013

Nectarine Jam {an easy canning recipe}


Due to a slight obsession with nectarines in our family (okay, it's Jeff) we have a nectarine tree. This year it produced a pretty bountiful crop, unlike the cherry tree (which was piddly), the apricot tree (just enough to eat a few) and the peach tree (about a dozen).

The nectarine tree, the apple trees and the pear trees are stepping up to save us this year. The nectarines are ready now, so it's time to make some nectarine jam!

This recipe is not hard. In case you didn't know, you don't have to peel nectarines to make jam with them, which makes them my fave over peaches any day because I hate despise would rather not spend time peeling the peaches.This recipe uses organic sugar (unrefined) but feel free to use regular white sugar if you wish. They are interchangeable. **Be sure to measure everything exactly, or you will end up with jam that won't set, or jam that sets too hard. Trust me, I learned from experience.

Nectarine Jam {this recipe fills 8 half-pint jars}
4 1/2 cups finely chopped nectarines (about 12 medium nectarines)
2 T. bottled lemon juice
1 box pectin (I prefer Sure-Jell) *Don't use low-sugar pectin for this recipe!
6 cups of organic sugar or regular white sugar

Wash, pit and finely chop the nectarines--I just run them through a chopper. Measure chopped nectarines to get exactly 4 1/2 cups. Pour into a large 6 qt. sauce pot--you will want this much space for when it comes to a full boil. Stir in the lemon juice, and then whisk in the pectin all at once. Bring to a full, roiling boil over high heat. Pour in sugar all at once and whisk in until incorporated. If you like, add 1/2 tsp of butter at this point to reduce foaming. Return to another full, rolling boil (this takes a few minutes) and then boil for exactly one minute. At this point, you can skim the foam off but I never bother to unless there's a lot. Ladle the jam into hot, clean jars and screw on hot bands and lids finger tight. Transfer immediately to a boiling water canner. The jars should be covered by at least an inch of water. If the water stops boiling when you add the jars, return it to boiling before starting your timer. At sea level, boil for 10 minutes. At my altitude (3,000 to 6,000 feet) boil for 20 minutes. Remove jars from canner and cool completely. Make sure they have sealed up within 24 hours. If they don't, refrigerate or reprocess. 

*A couple of tips that work for me:
Wash jars in hot soapy water and then transfer, still wet, to a cookie sheet. Set them in the oven at 250 degrees to keep them hot. Wash bands and lids, put in a deep oven-safe bowl, and cover with boiling water. Set the bowl in the oven with the jars. Be careful when ready for the jars to use hot pads--they are very hot.

If you have the time, run the jars through the dishwasher on "sanitize" and then plan to be ready for them before the drying cycle is complete so that they are hot. I usually just use my oven. 

Before screwing the lids on your jars of hot jam, use a wet paper towel to wipe off the rims and tops around your jars. If they have any jam drips on them, you run the risk of an improper seal and contamination. 

Do you can? What are your favorite tips? 

2 comments:

  1. Ohhh your jam sounds delicious! I LOVE nectarines, but I never thought to make jam out of them! Jam making is one thing I need to work on... I've only had disaster experiences so far lol!! This looks wonderful!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Maria! It really is pretty easy to do. You should definitely give it a try! Good luck!

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