And then there were nectarines: Red Nectarine and Candied Ginger Jam

Forgive me, but I have to throw a few nectarines into Peach-palooza.  I had already purchased a few nectarines for eating from our farmers market.   They were delicious.   This prompted me to buy eight quarts when we visited Livesay Orchard.

What were we thinking?

What to do with a trug full of nectarines?   Make “Red Nectarine and Candied Ginger Jam” from The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook.  (I recently posted a delicious peach marmalade recipe also from The Blue Jam Cookbook.)

Look at the color on these beauties! You don’t peel the nectarines. The peel will give the finished jam a beautiful color.

This recipe is a three day process but it is well worth it.   (Most of that time is simply letting the nectarines, lemon juice, and sugar get all nice and friendly in the fridge.)

Red Nectarine and Candied Ginger Jam
By Rachel Saunders, The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook

6 lbs,. 5 oz. of nectarines, pitted and halved
3 1/2 lbs. sugar
8 – 11 oz. strained fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 oz. candied ginger, chopped
1 1/2 oz. ginger liqueur

Day 1
Cut each nectarine half into 6 wedges.   Place the nectarine wedges into a LARGE plastic or glass container.   Pour sugar evenly over fruit, jiggling the container to help the sugar settle over the fruit.   Drizzle 8 oz. of lemon juice of the mixture.

Do not stir.

Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the mixture, smoothing well to minimize the amount of air that will be able to get to the fruit.    (This will help keep the fruit fresh from browning as it sits.)   Cover the nectarines and let macerate in the refrigerator for 3 to 6 days.

Day 3 (or 6)
Remove the nectarines from the refrigerator and transfer to the largest pot you have (11 or 12 quart).

A few of the nectarines turned a little dark but this didn’t affect the flavor or the ultimate color of the jam. (I also had to use the largest bowl in my kitchen.)

There should be a large quantity of juice.   Stir the fruit well to incorporate any undissolved sugar.    Taste the mixture and slowly add more lemon juice if necessary.   You should be able to taste the lemon juice, but it should not be overpowering.   Keep adding lemon juice until you are just able to detect its presence.   (I added one more oz.)   Add ginger and ginger liqueur.

I love candied ginger.

Bring the jam mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.   Boil, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.   Remove from heat and, using a large stainless-steel spoon, skim the stiff foam from the top of the mixture and discard.  (This foamed so much I had to shut down the heat and skim off almost two inches of foam.   That is why I mentioned a LARGE kettle.)

Mash two-thirds or more of the fruit with a potato-masher to encourage break down.   (I used my immersion blender.)   Return the jam to the stove over medium-high heat.   cook until the jam as thickened and becomes cohesive, 25-40 minutes, decreasing the heat slightly if the mixture stats sticking.

Rachel uses a frozen spoon method to see if her jam is done.  (For more information on this method, see my last post.)    I just looked at it and deemed it “jammy” after about 40 minutes.

When the jam is ready, pour it into hot sterilized jars and process in water bath for 10 minutes.   

Remove from the canner and listen for the pops!

Approximate yield:   twelve to thirteen 8-oz jars.

This jam looks and smells beautiful.

I would call this an old-fashioned jam except for the candied ginger and liqueur.

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