The closing of summer means that soon all the season’s delicious fruits will be going out of season and before we know it winter will be here. Not to be depressing, winter has beauty too and nearly all of my favourite flavours (ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, mulled wine, gingerbread, brandy drenched Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and home made mincemeat) are associated with winter. The end of summer traditionally saw everyone preserving all the fruit of the season, often in jams; so here is my goodbye to summer, some beautifully bright jam.
Nectarines have been in season and seem to be a bargain everywhere, so I’ve been getting them when I can, peeling, dicing them and then freezing them until I had ~1 kg to make jam with. Soft fruits like nectarines are easier to peel if they are ripe and you blanch them in boiling water.
Nectarine and rosemary just feel like a natural flavour combination to me, and I do love a boozy jam. I’ve had a bottle of rosemary gin on the side for months and thought a (large) dash in my nectarine jam would go down well.
I promise next year I will really work on my photography, there is no natural light where we live and I never have time to get anything more than a quick snap. One day though, one day. Also, can we take a minute to appreciate the hexaganol jar? A seriously underrated jar shape if you ask me, and my personal favourite; they are more efficient with regards to storage space than round jars and their tessellation pleases me greatly. A absolutely do not need to get out more.
- 1 kg of nectarines, peeled, stoned and diced
- The juice of 1 lemon (I like to zest any lemons I’m juicing and keep the zest in the freezer for future use)
- 250 ml of water
- 1 kg of caster sugar
- ~60 ml of rosemary gin
- Jam thermometer
- Sterlised jars (I put my jars in the oven at ~70°C whilst I make the jam)
- Put the nectarines into a large, heavy bottomed pan.
- Add the water and lemon juice, simmer for 10-15 minutes until soft.
- Add the sugar, stirring continuously over a medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Place your jam thermometer into the pan.
- Put a small plate into the freezer.
- Boil your fruit and sugar for ~20 minutes, stirring often, until setting point is reached (105°C / 220°F), place a little jam, using a teaspoon, on the cold plate in splodges and place in the fridge for a couple of minutes (keep the jam bubbling but be careful not to burn it). Push it with your finger, if a crinkly skin forms, your jam will set. If not boil for further 5 minutes and repeat. Nectarines are low in pectin so it took me two attempts to get it to a point where it would set.
- Remove from the heat and skim any scum off of the top of the jam (for aesthetic purposes.
- Stir in the gin.
- Transfer into warmed sterilised jars, a jam funnel helps greatly but a ladle will do the trick, be careful not to burn yourself. This recipe made approximately eight 200 ml jars. Tighten the lids onto the jars and leave them to cool.