Spiced Nectarine Jam

We are thrilled that Chef Kathy Casey has shared her jam recipe with us!

Editor’s note: Please be aware that this recipe uses PH testing along with the “Hot Fill, and Flip Method.” This method is no longer approved in the United States, although it is widely used in Europe.

SPICED NECTARINE JAM
Makes 6 1/2 – 7 half-pint jars

Select ripe, juicy nectarines for this recipe. For variety, you can also add other interesting things to this jam, such as 1 teaspoon rose water and a big pinch of ground cardamom for a more “exotic” preserve.

5 cups sugar
1/2 cup packed, light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
6 cups chopped, skin-on, ripe nectarines (Purchase about 3 lb.)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 box MCP pectin
1/2 teaspoon butter

Sterilize 7 half-pint jars and keep them in hot water until ready to drain and fill. Prepare lids and rings according to manufacturer’s instructions. Place a dish towel in a non-drafty area.

Measure out sugars and spices and mix together in a large bowl.

In a 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed, stainless steel or enameled pot, combine fruit, lemon juice, pectin and butter. Stir thoroughly. Place over medium-high to high heat and bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.

When at a rolling boil, add sugar mixture and stir in well. Stirring constantly, return mixture to a full rolling boil and boil 6 minutes while continuing to stir. Reduce heat if necessary but be sure to maintain a full rolling boil.

Remove from heat and quickly ladle boiling jam into drained jars. Wipe top edges and threads of jars with clean, damp cloth. IMMEDIATELY place lids, and screw on rings. Immediately turn upside down on the dry towel. Let sit upside down for 30 minutes, then turn over. Let cool overnight. Press on each lid; if a lid springs back, it is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.

Chef’s Notes: Yes, many recipes call for water bathing jams these days but in commercial production it is all about the HOT FILL and FLIP and pH. Fruit jams that have added acid (lemon juice) and fall well within a pH of 4.3 or below can be done with the hot fill and flip method. You can hot fill jams (acid fruit jams only) at home but you need to be sure your jam seals. You must fill jars with HOT jam that has just come off the stove boiling! To get a seal, the jam must be ladled into jars at no less than 190°F, the lid placed IMMEDIATELY, and the jar turned upside down. This sanitizes the underside of the lids and creates a seal. Please note the Hot Fill and Flip method is not approved anymore by the USDA for home canners.

A pH meter is the surest way to check the acidity of products you’re canning; pH meters are available from scientific instrument companies, such as Weber Scientific.

© 2009 Kathy Casey

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