Monday, August 16, 2010

Fruit Love

I am in love with nectarines.



Generally, I am a berry lover through and through, but a ripe, juicy nectarine can make me swoon.  A relative to the peach, it contains all the best features of the peach we know and love, but there's more.  I don't know how to explain it.  They surpass peaches...way past.  In fact, for the last week, I've had this chorus stuck in my head...

Nectarine, nectarine*
living reflection from a dream
I was her love, she was my queen
and now a thousand years between

* original lyrics by Led Zeppelin use "tangerine" (I didn't always listen to kid's praise CDs).  Okay, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  Neither does love sometimes.


 


Last year, we ate a ton of these babies fresh and semi-dried (and then froze) the rest.  They were good dried, but we decided to try canning them this year.  A friend of mine insists she gets fabulous results canning them (like you do peaches) with their skins on.  After all, you eat the skins when you eat them fresh.  And canning them without having to peel them (unlike their pesky cousins, the peaches), sounded a bit like a vacation.

I think it's time I get away.


Well, lo and be behold, my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving has a recipe with this exact method.  We used the same extra light syrup we used when canning peaches and it was almost like a vacation.  I mean really.  The pits pop out beautifully.  There were very few blemishes to cut out (like 5, in the whole bushel).  There are no skins to remove.  They pack like a dream.  Am I getting a little too excited about this?


The bizarre thing about canning nectarines is that they change color in the hot water bath.  They turn from a beautiful reddish yellow (above) to a peach-like color with pinkish water (below).


We opened a jar a few days after canning and they are wonderful.  The consistency is that of a peach.  I had heard they are softer than canned peaches, but three days out, there is no difference.  The skins become softer.  You hardly know they're there.  Next year, we're canning way more nectarines and way less peaches.

They're that easy- one more reason to love them.

Canning Nectarines
Read this post FIRST on proper canning practices. 

Update 5/22/11: A commenter below mentioned that when her mom canned nectarines, they turned brown after about 6 months.  I was watching for this, but ours did not.  They kept just fine and we are still eating them:-).

Wash ripe nectarines well.  Quarter and remove pits.  Do not peel.  Pack into hot, sterilized quart jars, pit side down, tapping the jar on the counter gently to help settle the nectarines.  Add hot sugar syrup (recipe below).  Keep the nectarines and syrup below the neck/thread of the jars.  Top with hot lids, then ring.  Process in a hot water bath of boiling water for 30 minutes.

One recipe above is enough for about 4 quarts.  Please ignore my pencil markings.
Pin It

20 comments:

  1. I love nectarines too. I made raspberry nectarine jam last week for the first time. It was so delicious. It will have to become a summer canning staple in my house.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The look delicious, but I freeze most of my fruits and veggies, lots easier for sure, I had some bad experiences with canning, Hugs and thanks for the recipes, Barbara

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can almost smell them from here... luscious loveliness!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love the pictures and I love this post even more for the Zeppelin lyrics! Enjoy your day. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have just been thinking about doing nectarines. When I found out you didn't have to skin them I was sold! I hate canning peaches because of the skins. We're picking ours up this week.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Interesting stuff! I don't know that we have fresh, local nectarines here.....but now I know what to do with them if I see some. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I LOVE nectarines. To me they ARE better than peaches. I'm going to have to try this method.

    ReplyDelete
  8. these pictures are making my mouth water!! Any time you wanna trade canned goods for jewelry, you let me know! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Have you ever tried canning your peaches whole? My Mom did this when I was growing up and they are so yummy. The seed seems to give them a hint of almond flavor. Mom washed them good and left them unpeeled and whole. She packed them in jars and processed them just as you did your nectarines.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lorelei, I like the way you think:-).

    Anonymous, I have never tried canning peaches whole- it sounds fascinating. I'm going to have to try it next year since I want nothing to do with peaches for the rest of this one:-).

    ReplyDelete
  11. About peach seeds. My sister puts one seed in each jar of peaches when she cans them. According to her the seed adds flavor. I tried it last year. It certainly didn't hurt anything.

    Aunt V.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You make them look and sound so good.:) I will have to try canning our apricots in the future. My wife says we have to eat this years small crop fresh. I think there is about 40 or 50 on our little tree this year.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My favorite Zeppelin song of all time ;)

    Beck

    ReplyDelete
  14. My mom is an avid canner of peaches, which as you know, keeps her quite busy. So I suggested to her that she try nectarines based on your post. She said she has done them in the past, but had to throw them out after 6 months or so. She said they turned brown and got too mushy. So maybe save some jars to try out later in the year to see if you're still sold........Sorry to rain on your parade!

    Also, tried your recipe for Peach Salsa a few days ago and loved it! My husband was so skeptical but he like it too! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Linzie, I'd rather hear that now versus later! We'll eat the nectarines first and save a few jars to see what happens. My friend didn't mention this happens, but it's helpful to know it's possible. I'm so glad you liked the salsa:-).

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi! Yesterday I canned nectarines for the first time. I've never canned fruit like that before, and I forgot to do anything to release the air bubbles. There is a good bit of air at the top of the jars. Is that OK? Is the fruit supposed to float up above the level of the liquid? Thanks so much for your blog. For the last two years, your pesto and tomato sauce have been staples in our home. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having air at the very top of the jars is normal and totally fine. Sometimes fruit floats up above the liquid into the air and sometimes it doesn't. The pieces of fruit that are out of the syrup may brown a little, but the food is still safe (assuming, of course, that you have good seals). You can discard those pieces if you like when you open your jar. Sometimes air bubbles are visible in my jars, too. The contents have always been okay despite this, but it is better if you can release that air prior to canning. Keep up the good work:-)!

      Delete
  17. I wonder if adding a little lemon juice to the sugar mixture would help prevent browning?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Jane. Love your blog. :) I followed this post and did nectarines for my first time last year and loved them! We're going for round two now and I'm wondering if you've ever canned any fruit in apple juice or white grape as an alternative to the sugar? Trying to stay on the healthy side without totally compromising the taste. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Lacee Jo! Last year I started using honey to make my fruit syrup and it worked really well. Here's a link to my first experience using it with peaches. They turned out great and I'm planning on doing it again this year. I've not tried using fruit juice. http://www.thyhandhathprovided.com/2013/08/freezing-raw-corn-and-canning-peaches.html

      Delete

Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

Please choose the Anonymous option if you prefer not to sign in to comment.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails