It started like this: I had waaaayyy too many nectarines, and the last of them needed to be canned, stat. I sliced them all up and had them sitting around in sugar. With one batch, I made Nectarine Sauce with Noyaux Liqueur. Check out my inspiration, Pirate Peaches by Local Kitchen. I didn't use her procrastinaty method, but it's a good one. I merely macerated the fruit with sugar and boiled it up to my preferred consistency, added some liqueur at the end.
With the second batch, I made some straight up, super simple, Nectarine Jam. I've been really enjoying Hitchhiking to Heaven's recipe for Yellow and White Peach Jam, which I've used in various incarnations this summer.
I don't usually use commercial pectin, instead I like to rely on the fruit's natural pectin or pectin from an apple stock. But I'm not against ever using commercial pectin. Sometimes it's fun. And I understand why it was developed. It makes things super quick. Back in the day, some hard working women thanked their lucky stars for pectin. It cut down on fuel use and time (however, it did up the sugar). I had some Pomona's Universal Pectin hanging around, so I used the rest of it in this jam giving it the pectin boost it needed, nectarines being a low pectin fruit.
Have a go at nectarines. Many say they are peaches without the skin to remove, but I find they have some special charms of their own!
3 pounds, pitted and sliced
2 cups of sugar
Combine the nectarines with the sugar and let them sit in the fridge for 6 to 8 hours.
Put this mixture in your jam pot and add:
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 teaspoons of calcium water
Bring to a boil. While it heats, crush the fruit with a potato masher, my fruit-crusher of choice. You can do what you want here, depending on your tastes. Let the mixture boil for about ten minutes.
Have ready and mixed in a small bowl:
2 teaspoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of powdered pectin*
Add this to the fruit. Cook for two minutes. Turn off the heat and ladle into hot half-pint jars. Process in a boiling water bath for ten minutes.
* Please note that this is for Pomona's Universal Pectin, which is not as complex as it may seem. They have lots of directions on the package, but mine differs slightly. You can buy this kind of pectin, which allows you to lower your sugar amounts, at health food stores or online.