After a bountiful harvest of fruit, one way to minimize waste is to make some of the fruit into jam, which can be enjoyed for a longer period. Nectarines can be made into jam, used alone or by combining with other fruits to create interesting flavors. When making jam it is important to follow safe preserving practices, which include sanitizing the work area, utensils and canning jars, along with proper heating and sealing. Always use fresh, ripe nectarines, free from blemishes or deterioration.
One way to make nectarine jam is to follow a generic jam recipe that can be applicable to other fruits. The fruit is peeled, pitted, cut up and placed in a heavy pan where it is then cooked on the stove for a few minutes before adding sugar. The ratio of sugar to fruit should be about ¾ lbs. of sugar for each pound of fruit. After the sugar is added it is cooked until the mixture is jelly like, or when a spoonful will set if dropped on a cool plate. Don't over cook or it will become tough and thick. It may take about 20 minutes or so. The jam will burn on the bottom of the pan if not stirred sufficiently. After cooking, pour into clean hot jars.
Nectarines can be mixed with pineapple to make jam. Begin by peeling, pitting and mashing up about 6 lbs. of nectarines, without using a blender. Heat the fruit in a 2-qt. sauce pan and continually stir. After the fruit is tender, place it in a strainer lined with four sheets of cheesecloth. Let the juice drip for about 15 minutes and then measure 4 cups of the drained pulp and add it to 2 cups drained, unsweetened crushed pineapple, 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice and 2 cups of sugar in a larger sauce pan. Heat the mixture for about 15 minutes, continually stirring. After cooking, pour into clean hot jars.
Kraft's SURE.JELL Fruit Pectin can be used to improve the consistency of the nectarine jam. Begin with about 3 lbs. of ripe nectarines. Remove the pits, chop finely, and measure out exactly 4 ½ cups of the fruit. Combine the fruit with 2 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice in a 6-qt. saucepan. Over medium heat, stir in one box of the SURE.JELL Fruit Pectin and ½ tsp. of butter. Bring to a full, rolling boil. Add 6 cups of sugar, and continue to stir, bringing the mixture back to a full boil and cook for just one minute and remove from the heat. Skim off any foam, using a metal spoon. Pour into prepared jars.